A 50-year-old Howard County man with a history of speed camera violations was arrested Tuesday night after he allegedly shot glass marbles at an enforcement vehicle; the latest in a series of incidents of vandalism against vans in the county.
Howard County Police say that Bruce Lawrence May of Ellicott City is out on bond, but is facing charges of second-degree assault, destruction of property and reckless endangerment after he allegedly fired marbles from a slingshot at a speed camera van where an operator was present.
Police say that a civilian employee of the Howard County Police Department was in the van near Manor Woods Elementary School in Ellicott City, near the intersection of Route 144 and Triadelphia Road, when he heard something strike the side of the vehicle.
A short time later, police say he saw a man fire a marble at the speed camera vehicle from a passing minivan.
A short while later, the driver, later identified as May, was stopped and arrested. Howard county Police say that the suspect has received two speed camera violations over the past few weeks. Even beyond that, Tuesday wasn't a good day for May. He had an argument with a store clerk, then showed up late to work.
That's all in addition to the two speed camera tickets he got in the same place - at $40 a piece - for going 52 mph in a 40 mph zone. Like many others, May believes that the cameras aren't solely used for public safety.
"It feels like a money grab to me," May said. He says that the speed camera was positioned in a sneaky manner on a hilly road where drivers can struggle to contain their speed.
It's also the third such event involving an alleged vandal and a speed camera van in June. On June 12, the operator of a van was struck when a person threw rocks at a van on U.S. Route 29 near Route 103.
The next day, the back window of a van near Waverly Elementary School was broken out by a rock. Police are unsure if these incidents and the one involving May are related, but he says he didn't have anything to do with those.
"Obviously he's smarter than I am, because I got caught," May said.
In the meantime, May says that in the future, keeping a level head may save himself - and others - stress and cash.
"Keep your cool and everybody slow down until they find some way to make it fair," he said.