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Police Arrest Speed Camera Van Vandal

Police said this was the third incident of speed camera van vandalism this month.

 

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include information from the police report.

Howard County police announced on Wednesday they arrested an Ellicott City man who was shooting marbles at a speed camera near Manor Woods Elementary School around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bruce Lawrence May, 50, of 2882 Evergreen Court in Ellicott City, was charged with second-degree assault, destruction of property and reckless endangerment after police said they determined he was driving the vehicle the marbles were being shot from.

A civilian speed camera van operator was inside the van at the corner of Route 144 and Tridelphia Road when he heard something strike the side of the van and saw a gray 2005 Chrysler Town and Country Minivan passing on Route 144, according to police.

The same van passed again and the van operator saw the driver, May, with a sling shot firing a projectile at the van, said police. The projectiles were later determined by police to be glass marbles.

The van operator reported the incident to police and May was later stopped and arrested, according to police.

During a police interview, May reportedly said he was angry at the speed vans because he had received two speeding citations in the past six weeks, according to the police report.

The speed camera van is assigned to the Manor Woods school zone because a county summer camp program takes place there from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., police said.

Police reported that this is the third incident this month involving damage to speed camera vans. 

The other two: 

  • On June 13, someone threw an unknown object at a Howard County speed camera van on Route 99 near Waverly Elementary School in Ellicott City, breaking the back window.
  • On June 12, someone threw rocks through the window of a State Highway Administration speed camera van on U.S. 29 near Route 103, striking the operator and damaging the equipment and vehicle.

Police said they are investigating whether all three incidents are related.

Also, in April, a stationary speed camera in Catonsville was torched a week after it was installed by Baltimore County. Police determined that incident caused $13,000 in damages. 

Howard County speed cameras are allowed to operate in school zones between 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Earlier this year, police noted they would continue to operate the cameras during the summer months because summer programs take place at many schools.

Other Patch speed camera coverage:

Dave A. June 28, 2012 at 09:13 PM
As far as Mr. May, he unfortunately did not learn the first time, then couldn't control his anger. He even admitted last night on channel 13 that he was "stupid" for doing what he did. Now he faces ALOT more then a $40 fine and the possibility of a jail sentence and now a criminal record!
LF June 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM
No one has the right to endanger someone's life. The speed camera operators are doing their job. If he was aiming a sling shot and driving a car, he showed callous disregard for anyone in the area, as well as assaulting an innocent person and causing property damage. If you disagree with speed cameras there are other venues to vent your grievances. Wendy, you took the words out of my mouth. Grow up, get over it, and stop speeding around our kids. The reference to veterans is repulsive.
Sean Colin June 30, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I believe the best way to show our support for school zone speed cameras is to lay on our horns for the entire length of any marked school zone. This act of audible support will prove to people living along that stretch of road that no matter what day or night, we are staunch proponents of speed cameras near their homes. Second, this 110db reinforcement will also warn children playing in the area that a vehicle is approaching. I would imagine the families with small sleeping children would appreciate this show of support so much, they would call the police department to express how much they like having the cameras located on their street.
Williams June 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM
If you believe, as I do, that these vans are simply about revenue generation, then the argument that all we need do is simply not speed is a false solution. The state and counties will find other ways to take our money, whether it's raising bridge tools, enacting absurd "snack taxes", building more casinos--whatever it takes to generate more revenue. The belief that these cameras make schools safer, or are event intended for that, is naive.
shirazeh tabibi July 03, 2012 at 11:33 PM
which constitutional ammendments do the speed cameras violate? if none other, at least the 4th, if not the 14th or the first. usually i bitch a little then pay my fine and learn. however, anyone who REALLY BELIEVES they are there to make us safer... think about this: what if a hit and run accident were to be caught on camera? the identity of the driver is unknown, and the identity of the victim in such a horrifying accident would probably also be unknown. these cameras aren't installed in places where tourist $s are higher than in MD. politicians who petition for these cameras have even admitted this is basically a tax. i wouldnt even be talking about this if it werent for the fact that i just got a ticket for a ticket received by my car while i was not driving it (and i dont know who was driving it. at the time when the license plates that are registered to me were photographed, i was in a relationship in which he didnt respect *my* car and handed it to some drunk idiot friend of his was driving) now i, unemployed and almost homeless, have to pay this idiotic fine cuz i dont know who was driving my car. the state also refuses to give me more than five days, so the fine might be doubled by the end of this evening. these tickets are ridiculous.

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