Reporting Mike Hellgren
LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ)— An intense search but police are still no closer to tracking down the armed man who attacked a highway speed camera. The unusual nature of the crime has raised eyebrows.
Mike Hellgren has the latest on the search.
It’s quite a mystery. Police searched for the suspect all Wednesday night and all through the day Thursday. They say he likely fled into the woods and then drove off. The main change in the description is that he’s a little heavier set than they first thought.
Police say a gun-toting elderly white man with a pot belly smashed the windshield of a Jeep speed camera vehicle, while a contractor was inside. It was parked along the shoulder of the BW Parkway near the airport exit.
There have been several crazed attacks on speed cameras nationwide, as they’ve grown in numbers in recent years. It’s unclear, though, if the suspect in this case was irate over the camera or something else.
“These are crazy times,” said one motorist. “I mean, people are being pushed to the edge.”
Investigators say the man was armed with that hammer in one hand and a shotgun in the other. He was yelling incoherently, before he disappeared into the woods.
“No direct positive leads at this time, but nothing has been ruled out,” said Greg Shipley, Maryland State Police.
Police now believe the man parked his car in one of the many parking lots along Concourse Drive. Signs posted nearby warn of surveillance cameras. Police are revealing footage to see if it captured any clues.
“We have confirmed that traffic was slowed and even stopped when this was occurring due to motorists looking to the side of the road to see what was going on,” Shipley said. “We know there were other people who saw this, and we’d ask them to call, even if they think their information may be of little assistance.”
Police also say it’s unclear whether this attack is connected to an unsolved series of smoking packages sent to state officials in January by someone irate over flashing road signs.
The head of a Maryland anti-speed camera group tells WJZ, “Violence is no way to fight cameras. Obviously if a gun was involved, that was way over the line. Of course, many people are frustrated. People need to express their concerns through lawful means and the system should take those concerns seriously.”
Police also say that the prime suspect had clear glasses and a backpack and was wearing blue jeans and a flannel shirt.
The contractor who was inside the speed camera vehicle was shaken but not injured in the attack.