Man arrested for damaging speed camera van in Howard County

WASHINGTON — A local man was arrested in Howard County after police say he shot something like a BB gun at a speed camera van near an elementary school in December.

Abraham Naveed Quraishi, a 20-year-old Ellicott City resident, has been charged with second-degree assault and malicious destruction of property, according to Howard County Police.

On Dec. 11, a county speed camera operator — who works for the police department — was in a van on Rogers Avenue and Patapsco Valley Drive, near Hollified Station Elementary School, when an unknown object struck the van and broke the left rear window.

The unnamed operator — who wasn’t injured — took a picture of a 2008 Toyota Corolla that was passing at the time. Later, police determined the van was struck by a BB from a BB gun.

The Corolla was seen at Quraishi’s home. Police issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with the vandalism of the speed camera van. Quraishi was arrested Jan. 7 after turning himself into police. He posted a $5,000 bond and was released.

Quraishi has denied all of the charges.

The Corolla driven by Quraishi had been cited for speed and red light camera violations.

This is the fourth arrest for destruction of a speed van or speed camera equipment since the program was launched in Howard County three years ago.

“We want people to know that we take these cases very seriously and will file criminal charges,” Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner said in a statement. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion about the speed camera program, but we cannot overlook the significant damage to equipment and potential injury to our van operators.”

“We’ve had equipment set on fire,” says Sherry Llewellyn, a spokesman with Howard County Police. “We’ve had pellets fired through windshields and windows, so it’s just something that we feel like we need to take very seriously. This is more than a prank.”

WTOP’s Max Smith contributed to this report.

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