Speed Camera on South Rolling Road Torched
The camera was at the newest location at the intersection of Brook Road and Gary Drive on South Rolling Road.
The speed camera on South Rolling Road was destroyed after vandals set fire to the metal box early Friday morning, according to police.
The act comes a week after the speed camera and cement pad were installed by the county at the intersection of Brook Road and Gary Drive on South Rolling Road.
Officials had added the third site along South Rolling Road after many residents complained about excessive speeding along that stretch of the road.
Police received a call at 1:40 a.m. for a fire along the 400 block of South Rolling Road, according to police spokeswoman Elise Armacost.
When Engine 41 from Catonsville responded to the scene, firefighters saw that the metal box that holds the camera was on fire. Firefighters extinquished it and police investigators were called to the scene, Armacost said.
Police determined that the fire was a first-degree malicious burning, but said they do not have any suspects at this time.
Armacost said the fire caused $13,000 in damages.
Marty Haggerty, who lives on South Rolling Road across the street from the camera, was awakened by his wife last night amid the commotion.
He watched as firefighters extinguished the camera, which he said was in flames.
"It was frightening," he said. "My kids were crying."
Haggerty, who worked along with many neighbors along that stretch of road to add the camera, said he was angered by the act of vandalism. He said he thought the fire was set by someone who didn't like the camera.
"If you're opposed to the speed camera, you don't do an act of terrorism," he said. "We got this camera by playing by the rules."
County speed cameras have been vandalized in the past. Someone spray painted a camera near Sparrows Point High School in Edgemere and someone broke the lens on a camera near Padonia Elementary School in Cockeysville, according to police.
County officials said they have contacted the vendor and expect to install a new camera. In the meantime, the speed camera that rotates between both sides of South Rolling Road by Catonsville High School will still be in operation.