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Earlier in June, a Maryland State Highway Administration speed camera van in Ellicott City was damaged by someone who threw a rock through its window. The operator of that van was also injured. One day later, a back window of a county camera van parked nearWaverly Elementary School — about six miles away —was broken by an unidentified projectile.

Last year, a man wielding a shotgun and hammer smashed the windshield of a car with a mounted speed camera parked along Route 295 near Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Fred Von Briesen, the speed enforcement program administrator for Howard County, said passers-by harass camera operators “on a routine basis,” whether its screaming or throwing water bottles at them.

After hearing the judge’s verdict, he said he hoped Mr. May’s story would “get people to think twice” before trying the same thing.