Warwick man charged with DUI, gun-related charges following crash that injured 11-year-old  


An indictment, information, or complaint is merely an allegation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Warwick man has been charged in Kent County Superior Court with multiple driving offenses, as well as carrying a pistol without a license, following a crash that seriously injured an 11-year-old female victim.  


On August 3, 2023, the office of the Attorney General charged James Thacher (age 68), by way of criminal information, with one count of driving under the influence resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of driving to endanger resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of driving to endanger resulting in physical injury, one count of carrying a pistol without a license, and one count of transporting a firearm while under the influence.


As alleged in the criminal information, on February 3, 2023, Warwick police responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash with injuries on the intersection of Main Avenue and Carolyn Street. It is alleged that upon arrival, witnesses described that the defendant, while driving his white Jeep Liberty SUV at a high speed and swerving, crashed into a Chevrolet Cruze compact sedan, occupied by a female driver and her 11-year old daughter, from behind. As a result of the impact, the Chevy spun and struck a nearby telephone pole. 


As further alleged, officers approached the defendant’s vehicle and observed an odor of alcohol on his breath, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. After officers began questioning him about the incident, the defendant reached over to his passenger seat and handed them a camouflage-colored bag that contained a small, black .380 caliber Ruger pistol, two loaded magazines, and a box of 37 .380 caliber bullets.


As alleged, officers then attempted to conduct a field sobriety test but could not complete it because the defendant had difficulty maintaining his balance. The defendant allegedly admitted to drinking that evening and agreed to a portable breath test, which recorded a Blood Alcohol Content level of 0.17.  


As further alleged, officers then took the defendant into custody and later transported him to Kent County Memorial Hospital for evaluation. The 11-year-old daughter of the driver of the Chevy Cruze sustained a fractured forearm and a fractured spine in the crash.


The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned on August 18, 2023, in Kent County Superior Court.