Police: Man shouted homophobic slurs while choking his neighbor

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A woman was the victim of a frightening attack in an apartment elevator.

She was pushed up against the wall and choked.

Police say James Threadgill violently attacked his neighbor Tuesday night at a complex on Stonewall.

The woman's girlfriend says he attacked her because she's a lesbian.

Officers say it started as a disagreement in the hallway, then got physical.

The victim's girlfriend told WREG she feared she would die.

The couple told police Threadgill called her such hateful and nasty words we can’t even hint at what they are on TV.

“It’s not surprising but it’s shocking every time it happens,”  Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Executive Director Will Batts said.

He understands why the victim and her partner are too frightened to speak out.

"Those area really scary things. You’ve already been attacked once, stepping forward and fighting back is really risky," he said.

He shares their outrage, but says sadly this happens far too often.

"This happens all too often in our LGBT community that people think LGBT people are targets and not worthy of respect,” he said.

"Using derogatory terms for members of our community is seen as OK," he added.

In 2013, there were 348 total hate crime cases in Tennessee.

Forty-five were against gays.

This case is not classified as a hate crime yet.

Memphis police say that will be up to the prosecutor, but for the victim and her partner, the words cut deep and the fear lives on.

“It’s important for us as a community to say this is not OK,” she said.

The suspect is still in jail. He’s held on a $5,000 bond, and faces a judge tomorrow.


  • chakaTEEro

    So, it was just the two women that heard him say these things? Who is to say they are not making it up what all was said?

    • Bob

      I have always maintained there are three sides to every story. Yours, mine and what really happened. Let’s hear the whole story.

  • Friendofaccussed

    THESE WOMEN ARE LIARS!!! I KNOW THE REAL STORY AND THEY ARE LIARS!!!!!!! This man isn’t violent and he was DEFENDING himself….. and he is NOT HOMOPHOBIC! they are crying this trying to get him in more trouble and get themselves some attention!

    • Friendofaccussed

      convenient they leave out that she HIT him first after coming down 6 floors to start the argument!!!!!!!! CONVENIENT!

      • MissFriendoftheVictim

        Why dont you learn how to read, like a police report, and stop living in a fantasy world where imaginary things happen?! It does not make note of her hitting him, nor does his mugshot show any signs of her hitting him. Meanwhile, myself and the police have pictures of my friend’s injuries, and she is covered head to toe in bruises from that degenerate sorry excuse for a “man”. I swear to god, if he even thinks of laying a hand on her, her girlfriend, or her chihuahua (who he threatened to kill in front of me, her, and my boyfriend), I will make sure it is the last thing he ever does. I’m not quite as nice as those ladies. So if you’re really his friend, you will advise him to think first for once in his miserable life. Take care now though, and God bless you all!

    • Low Profile

      And we need a new (or, rather, renewed) form of sentencing: EXILE.
      Within a year of two, this city could look and feel a lot different, a lot better.

      • jir2014

        i completely agree. pathic attempts to intimidate and physically harm women because you dont like something she said wont be tolerated, and we can start with that atrociously ugly ginger first.

      • Personallyknowtheaccussed

        JIR2014 What you just said could be classified as a hate crime… Did you know that? Do you have problem with gingers? I am sure I could file suit on that…..Think about what you say people!

  • Don

    Threadgill, should given her/him (whatever) a 5 by 8 Mug shot photo of himself, that would scare the hell out of them.

    • MissFriendoftheVictim

      LOL! Don’t worry Don, just the flash of a mug like that across the tv that night was enough to scare us ALL!!

  • Personallyknowtheaccussed

    James a homophobic….um, yeah, no he isn’t!!! Ha, these two women should know facts and get their lies made out better before accusing someone of such stupidity! Where are the elevator cameras?

    • MissFriendoftheVictim

      Nah, stupidity is thinking that strangling, and repeatedly slamming a woman against an elevator wall while screaming homophobic slurs in her face is not homophobic. Nice try though, maybe next time. There are no cameras in the elevator or the hall her threw her into. That was the first thing I asked. So, I guess it’s just his word against her head to toe bruises.

  • Unity

    I find these comments to be quite elementary. This was not an isolated event that occured out of nowhere. Threadgill’s behavior has been escalating for months and his threats have been previously documented. Before someone else comments, maybe he or she should think about him or herself or a loved one involved a situation like this.

  • stopbeatingwomen

    he is LUCKY he is in jail and not dead because what she really should have done was kill this sorry piece of white trash the moment he laid his hands on her. these guys are gonna have to learn to keep their hands of some women, because we are not gonna keep taking this kinda disgusting caveman behavior from “people” like this. i hope they crucify him upside down. god knows no one would miss him.

    • Personallyknowtheaccussed

      You do not know the first thing about James nor the situation. However, those who do know him know of situations he has face day to day with “neighbors”. You can only hit a stick on something so many times before it eventually breaks. You and I have the freedom to write on this page because he has went through hell to serve his country and have things he has to deal with for the rest of his life because of certain situations while serving… try Taliban for a google search! This is far from a hate crime and he is no where close to “white trash”. What is “trashy” is someone saying on a public page that he is LUCKY to be in jail… That puts you on the level you are attempting to put him on. We all have the right to think what we want (thanks to people like him) but you shouldn’t insinuate that you would be doing something if he weren’t in jail at this moment. That is tacky.

    • Bob

      I think the people he just spent a couple weeks volunteering for and helping recover in MS will miss him next time if he can’t be there. Or the ones up north before that. There is a lot more to this story. Homophobe? LOL!

      • MissFriendoftheVictim

        Helping? LOL! He should have thought of those people he “helps” before he decided to lose his absolute mind and nearly KILL my best friend! I agree there is definately a lot more to this story, and I am grateful that we will get our day in court to tell it.

  • Friendofaccussed

    Unity, obviously you know nothing… bc these women have themselves in just as deep into anything that might have been escalating… so maybe before you get all defensive and come to some damsel in distresses rescue! you have 1) u have no idea who he is or what he is about, 2) calling this a hate crime show direct intent to escalate things on their part!

    • MissFriendoftheVictim

      Unity knows hes being charged with aggravated assault while screaming homophobic slurs at his neighbor. Please learn to put two and two together.

  • Friendofaccussed

    and some of you very ppl who want to crucify him may have been some of the very ppl he has helped on his many volunteer efforts in disaster areas all over the county.. not to mention the only freaking reason you have the right to say what you are saying on here is bc of his service to this country!!! So spew the venom all u want the truth will come out and his true friends in the community know his true nature, the rest of you are just fuel in the fire… ignorance that is what this news cast was just pure one sided ignorance!

    • Bob

      Hear, hear! James is one of the most giving people I know, first serving his country overseas, then volunteering for disaster relief nation wide and community service here at home.

  • Abhor. Abuse of women

    It makes me sick that ANY man would choke and hurt a woman. No matter what a “good” man he supposedly is, only a sick man would hit a woman regardless of sexual orientation.

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