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Charging docs detail how a BPD sergeant allegedly threatened, stoked fear in a home worker

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jul 10, 2020

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore Police sergeant is being held without bail after allegedly extorting and kidnapping a builder who worked on his home.

WMAR-2 News obtained charging documents filed in district court by Baltimore County Police detectives, that detail the fear Luis Hernandez felt during an encounter with James Lloyd.

Hernandez claims Lloyd hired him to build a patio at his Gwynn Oak home located on Emmanuel Court.

Both agreed on a price of $7,000 to complete the job, after meeting at Lloyd's home.

Around June 18 after the job was completed and full payment was received, Hernandez says Lloyd called about some of the pavers coming apart.

Hernandez told police he agreed to fix them. While repairing the patio at the property, Hernandez says Lloyd's partner said she wanted the patio to be much bigger.

According to court documents, Hernandez said he agreed to expand the patio, but for an additional $1,400.

On June 25 Hernandez returned to Lloyd's home to continue work on the patio. Charging documents say Lloyd approached Hernandez and said "we have problems, where is my contract?"

Lloyd allegedly went onto demand Hernandez's drivers license. Asked why he needed the license, Lloyd reportedly showed his Baltimore Police badge. Out of fear, Hernandez told police he gave Lloyd his drivers license, at which point Lloyd took a picture and for a while didn't give it back.

Court papers say Lloyd pulled a folder with a picture, and asked Hernandez if that was him in the photo. Hernandez said yes, at which point Lloyd allegedly told him his license was suspended over child support.

Lloyd apparently threatened to arrest Hernandez for driving to his home on the suspended license.

During the dispute, Hernandez reported seeing a Spanish speaking officer in a suit with his badge showing. Hernandez said he could see a gun in both men's jackets.

Hernandez recognized the Spanish speaking officer because he happened to also be with Lloyd when it was decided the patio needed to be bigger.

The conversation then steered back to the patio and Lloyd asking Hernandez who was going to do the work.

Hernandez recalled telling Lloyd that he'd been trying to get in touch with the sub contractor, but hadn't yet heard back. He claims to have shown the Hispanic officer text messages with the contractor that were written in Spanish.

Court documents show that's when Lloyd demanded his money back. Hernandez told detectives he didn't have $7,000 to give back but offered to give Lloyd whatever he wanted out of fear of being arrested, especially with both men being armed and displaying badges.

Lloyd and the Spanish speaking officer both said only $3,500 needed to be returned.

Hernandez recounted two more officers arriving, also armed showing badges.

The group of officers went back to the front of Lloyd's home and began taking pictures of Hernandez's car, court documents say.

Charging documents identify the other Baltimore Police Detectives as Manuel Larbi, Troy Taylor, and Juan Diaz.

Lloyd is then quoted as saying "we can solve this, give me my money back."

Again court papers show Hernandez saying he didn't have the full $7,000 to give. Lloyd told Hernandez to write a check instead, but was told he didn't have his checkbook with him.

According to Hernandez, Lloyd asked him what bank he used. Detectives wrote in their report that Lloyd looked up the closest bank and told Hernandez to come with him. Saying he feared for his life, Hernandez hesitantly went with Lloyd to the bank to withdrawal money.

Charging documents say Lloyd took Hernandez to the bank in his unmarked police car.

During the ride, Hernandez recalled telling Lloyd he didn't want any problems, for which Lloyd replied, " a problem is taking you in the woods."

Upon arriving at a bank in Glen Burnie, Hernandez took out a $3,500 cashiers check payable to Lloyd.

Lloyd took Hernandez back to his home and forced Hernandez to sign a refund receipt.

Afraid to drive his own car home on a suspended license, Hernandez waited for a friend, but Lloyd told him to leave anyway and promised he wouldn't be arrested.

Hernandez went to the home of another customer who is a retired Baltimore Police officer, and told her what happened.

She told Hernandez he needed to call police and file a report.

Baltimore County Detectives spoke with her and another one of Hernandez's friends who is an active police lieutenant with another agency.

Both provided statements similar to what Hernandez shared with police.

Hernandez was able to provide investigators with a police business card Lloyd gave to him, as well as a cell phone number, and a copy of the cashiers check.

Investigators matched the account number Lloyd wrote on the back of the cashiers check with a previous check Lloyd wrote out to Hernandez for work.

Hernandez also gave detectives the texts messages exchanged between he and Lloyd and the made up refund receipt Lloyd made him sign.

The text messages showed Lloyd praising Hernandez's work on the patio, and verified all the financial terms Hernandez claimed the two agreed to for the job.

Charging documents show the last text message was on the day Lloyd took Hernandez to the bank, that message was Hernandez asking Lloyd who he wanted the check written out to.

RELATED: Baltimore City Police Sergeant arrested on extortion, kidnapping charges

Bank statements, surveillance footage and subpoenaed phone records match Hernandez's version of events, detectives say.

When called into speak with detectives about the allegations, Lloyd admitted to running a background check and taking Hernandez to the bank to retrieve a $3,500 cashiers check, and later issuing a receipt. Lloyd told investigators he was displeased with Hernandez's work, despite text messages from him saying otherwise.

Lloyd is currently suspended from the Baltimore Police Department without pay. The other three officers are also on leave, pending an internal investigation.