OVER THE EDGE: AZ Man Arrested For Pickaxe Attack

ABC15 is reporting that a local man has been arrested for an attack on a photo enforcement camera:

A Glendale man was arrested after allegedly attacking a freeway speed camera with a pickaxe, according to the Department of Public Safety.  Travis Munroe Townsend, 26, was taken into custody after he was caught in the act by a DPS officer, according to a spokesman.

CameraFRAUD.com issued the following statement:

There is a significant difference between civil disobedience and mindless damage. It’s unfortunate that the person chose not to follow the example of Rosa Parks or Gandhi, both of whom protested against oppressive government by thoughtfully and peacefully breaking the laws they felt to be unjust. In addition, the person arrested was not member of CameraFRAUD.com’s public Meetup group.

Those who feel it necessary to actively resist the scam cams might want to “stick” to this idea, or better yet, join the CameraFRAUD.com Meetup.

38 Responses to OVER THE EDGE: AZ Man Arrested For Pickaxe Attack

  1. catch says:

    Seriously, look at what you losers are encouraging people to do. Now this “sheep” is going to made an example of. Ya, I am sure it was worth it; he is probably getting pumped by his jail mate right now, probably wishing there was a camera saving his ass!!!!

    Ha Ha Ha 🙂

  2. ScameraActivist says:

    Camera Fraud has not, does not, and will not ever encourage violence against the cameras. Although, this does show the outrage these cameras are generating among the public. A lot of the frustration among the public will result in an explosion of new members to camerafraud.com. This will result in positive, effective, and legal methods of removing these cameras from our roadways. Unfortunately, some citizens choose to use less savory methods to express their dissaproval.

  3. camerafraud says:

    hey “catch,”

    Why hide behind a proxy? Don’t want us to see who you’re employed by?

  4. Rob says:

    Can someone here setup a legal fund account at a local bank branch? Just check the azcentral.com website for the number of people looking to help this guy out. That was not the smartest thing to do but his heart was in the right place.

  5. AA says:

    No Rob, the best thing to do is let this idiot rot. The last thing we need is to have people thinking this is a good idea and we’ll cover their asses. If we did that, all anti-camera activists would be portayed as violent criminals and condoning the destruction of property.

  6. Bob says:

    Hey by the way, your reference to “Sticking it to the Man” as an alternative is technically “interference with a traffic control device” I think; serious fine. You may want to change your post if you claim not not condone this activity. Just a suggestion.

  7. ScameraActivist says:

    Is a photo enforcement camera a traffic control device ? Hmmmm. You should check the Manual Of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Also known as the MUTCD. Or ask your local traffic engineer. The real answer may suprise you, and that answer is NO. A “photo enforcement” device in no more a traffic control device as a cops radar according to one traffic engineer. This is because it does not “control” traffic. It is a traffic “enforcement” device. The DPS may charge this man for that crime, but that dosen’t mean it is a crime, or their charges are accurate or that they will “Stick.”


    Your eyes will pop wide open, because this charge is FALSE.

  8. Mad As Hell says:

    I say we should do what they are doing in Great Britain and France….Burn them all with a tire and a little gasoline. They cost $100, 000 to replace. Maybe then they\’ll get the message.

  9. azmojo says:

    If the damage is less than $250, it is a misdemeanor vandalism at best. Cameras are not traffic control devices. They do not control traffic, they take photos. Traffic enforcement? Perhaps. Control? No.

  10. James says:

    I’ve never been opposed to a few strategically placed speed cameras to target accident-prone sections of highway, but in Arizona, the situation has become ridiculous during the past month.

    Clearly this is not a safety improvement device, but rather a systematic revenue generating system. When there were just a few cameras in Scottsdale, It never felt really intrusive, but I feel differently now as the cameras are literally everywhere. Since the speed limits shift a lot between 65 and 55 in different places, I’m never quite sure if I’m speeding, so I find myself hitting the brakes to get down to 60MPH every time I see one of the damn things.

    Also, the situation on I-10 between the 101 and 17 is just sick. Every 1.5 miles. And they throw the portable ones in-between.

    I’m sorry, but the governor pushed things too far with this. The citizens had no input, and our ability to travel with a sense of freedom and liberty has been taken away from us. It will not be long, as a popular revolt will soon eliminate these stupid devices. Look for the new ballot proposition and an overwhelming victory.

  11. James says:

    By the way, I commute past the location of the “ax attack” camera. You should have seen the number of police cars that were parked “on the scene” yesterday morning. So many that traffic was slowing. It looked like a homicide investigation was going on. At least 7 vehicles were on the scene. For what, a broken piece of glass?

  12. James says:

    BTW, there is no need to do any damage to a speed camera. All anyone would ever need to do is drape a towel over a flash unit.

  13. Popeye says:

    You clowns must be proud of your poster child Travis Townsend – what a class act! I hope he gets the max. Maybe you guys should change the name of your site to CameraVandals.com

  14. Bob says:

    What’s the hang-up on cameras? Limits are posted legally and for a reason. Drive the limit and no flash! Why is adherence to speed limits such a problem for you?

  15. DR1665 says:

    There is no point in attempting to damage or otherwise vandalize these cameras. That glass lens between you and the camera is about 3″ thick. People who would flip out and take a pickax to anything have serious issues and should be locked up.

    For me, the greatest reason to fight these cameras is not because people speed, but because the government is claiming these are all about safety when:

    1. They use a conventional flash directly into drivers’ faces at dark. This distracts every motorist in the area. “Was it me? Who was it?” Anything that takes your eyes off the road in front of you is unsafe. They could be using infrared or something, but they do not.

    2. They could set up permanent photo radar fixtures in school zones to be active during school hours, but they don’t do that. Instead, those of us who slow to 20-25mph endure the dirty looks from tailgaters as they floor it to pass us on the right at better than 40. I doubt people would mind cameras in school zones which kept the traffic slow and possibly generated funds for the schools, but this isn’t the case.

    3. They know that the vast majority of the people getting busted are doing that 1mph over the limit they allow. Is your speedometer accurate to within 1mph? If they increased the limit by 1mph, they would see more than half these violations vanish. They don’t want that.

    This site is about people responsibly acting within their rights to affect changes they deem necessary in their community. Those who would read and leave that anonymous inflammatory comment should give some thought to the last time they were involved in doing something the right way rather than letting the mainstream media brainwash them into more mindless finger pointing and juvenile blather.

  16. azmojo says:

    I used to be able to drive the valley freeways with the flow of traffic with no worry. No I have to be HYPER-VIGILANT and pray that I didn’t miss any speed limit signs noting a change from 65 to 55 or other speed. This is wrong. I used to be able to relax when I drove, now I am on edge the whole time. I should be focused and worried about the traffic around me (which is the safe thing to do), now I am worried about cameras and whether I am going 1mph too fast or not.

    This is wrong.

  17. jgunn says:

    azmojo, get a cheetah gps detector unit and you will get a warning as such “fixed camera ahead. Speed limit 55. Attention overspeed” (assuming you are over the limit) Note, I do not work for cheetah, do not own stock, and gain nothing from this. I just want people to be more aware of where the cameras are like I do. Using this device, it is sickeningly easy to avoid them. For the mobile cameras you will need a top of the line radar detector.

  18. Joe says:

    azmojo says that now he has to “Hyper Vigilant” and pray that he doesn’t miss the speed limit signs. What a crock. He should be paying attention to the speed limit signs anyway, whether or not there are cameras. And if he commutes on the same route regularly then he knows where/when the speed limits change.

  19. Buck Johnson says:

    Hey Joe,

    It\’s people like you who have gotten us in the mess we\’re in now. You are so quick and so willing to throw people\’s essential liberties out the window in the name of \”compliance\” that we now live in a police state.

    F*!k you and the diseased, rainscalded horse you rode in on. I hope someone plants drugs in your car and drops a dime on you. Maybe then you\’ll understand what I\’m talking about, you diseased douchebag.

  20. George says:

    Vehicle registered to a business (maybe we should set up our own personal corporations just to register our vehicles)? Out of state plate? Mexican plate?

    Then no problema. They can’t enforce a ticket against you.

    The system is fundamentally unfair. The snowbird from Illinois can blast by at 90 while you get ticketed going 66.

  21. Bill Conley says:

    There is a right way and wrong way to fight back…criminal damage and violence is the wrong way. Yes, we know you’re mad and upset. Yes, Arizona government is abusing their authority and the peoples trust.
    The right way is to get involved, help collect signatures, call your representative and let them know how you feel, stay on the high ground.

  22. ScameraActivist says:


  23. Steve Anderson says:

    Oooh, looks like Bucky J’s got a burr up his butt.. Uh, Buck, just what exactly are those “essential liberties” that you lost? The “right” to drive at whatever speed you want? Grow up, cowboy. When you live in a society you have to live by some rules. Don’t like it? Move to Montana where you can drive as fast as you freakin want.

    The rest of you yahoos would do better to simply ignore the cameras – you know what the rules are – simply drive within 10 mph of the posted speed limit and there’s no problem. I’ve yet to get a ticket – same foro the rest of my co-workers and friends. You clowns just don’t get it..

  24. azmojo says:

    I believe he’s talking about the right not to be surveiled and tracked by our government, as well as innocent until proven guilty.

    The cameras malfunction, and malfunction often. Am I wrong to wonder how I’ll convince a judge that the machine malfunctioned when I was going exactly the speed limit but yet it issued a citation anyway? How much am I going to have to spend on a lawyer and how much lost time from work? All of this, especially when I don’t get notice that I’ve done anything wrong until a week or more after it’s happened? No one needs this senseless burden. The cameras don’t make the roads any safer. They just take pictures!

  25. Steve Anderson says:

    Ok, azmojo, then why are you folks strictly focused on traffic cameras? Why not bank ATMs, convenience stores and shopping malls? No, that’s not the reason and we both know that. The whole premise of your little group is that city and state governments have had these cameras installed simply to gather revenue, and that the companies who install them purposely bias the cameras to fleece people who are driving within the law. Its all bunk, and again, you also know this.

    Yes, there have been occasional malfunctions and when they occur, the cameras are fixed and the citations are dismissed. You don’t need to hire a lawyer and you don’t have to take time off from work. The camera malfunction argument is simply a smokescreen as well as the other arguments I’ve read.

    You folks have no friggin idea how much of your pathetic little lives are scrutinized/monitored, by both the government and commercial agencies and companies. Do you think your cell phone/text messages are secure? Do you have any idea how much your FICO score affects your life – from buying insurance to getting your next job? Hell, cameras should be the least of your concerns.

    Do you want to get away from all that? Well, move to an island. But then you’d still be visible from a satellite overhead and could be seen on Google Earth. Better yet – put a gun to your temple and pull the trigger.

  26. camerafraud says:

    Steve Anderson,

    Does your employer (starts with a B?) know you’re suggesting that people should shoot themselves in the head while on company time?

    Might want to consider making those posts from home instead of a corporate IP.

  27. Steve Anderson says:

    So, you completely dodged the question eh? Didn’t think you had a good answer.

  28. George says:

    Pickax to the camera. Some here (probably Redflex employees) don’t like it.

    While I am not personally advocating destruction of property, this country was founded on actions like this.

    Remember the “Boston Tea Party.”

    Maybe we need an Arizona Photo shoot.

  29. No One says:

    I absolutely love the argument “what about ATM’s and stores”….what about them, indeed?

    Big, big difference there. A store or a bank, a) you can choose not to use that ATM or shop at that store, but b) they are looking for a specific activity– theft or violence. When such an activity occurs, there is no room for doubt. IE if you stuff a video game down your pants or pull a gun on a clerk, these are specific purposeful actions and cannot be easily mistaken for anything else. There is no real question. Additionally, should the camera catch something, someone actually looks at the tape and makes a judgement call before any consequences occur. A speed camera is looking at a second’s worth of data and making a split-second determination of your guilt, and this is entirely based upon the supposition that their machine is accurate.

    The stores do it this way for some very good reasons– they don’t want to alienate their customers, and in terms of such an offense, know that it is up to them to prove you guilty. They have the burden of proof, and can’t go off half-cocked every time they “think” they “might” see someone stealing something. Also there’s the obvious reason that even f they catch you, they don’t get any reward other than their merchandise back and/or a badguy off the streets. In the case of traffic cameras, they obviously don’t give a damn who they alienate and you are guilty until proven innocent and it is up to you to prove your innocence, If you can’t, those owning the cameras get a hefty reward.

    So, let’s recap: store/atm is looking for something which is intentional, purposeful and inherenlty proveable. If they can’t prove it, it’s not worth their time to pursue because they get nothing and potentially lose a customer. If they can prove it, they get substantially nothing. The cameras are looking for something transitory, and the only proof they need is the fact that they went off. They don’t need to prove anything else. If somehow they are proven wrong (which is up to you to do so, at your own expense), they don’t have any negative consequences whatsoever, but if they’re proven right (or more accurately not specifically proven wrong) they get a big cash reward.

    ATM’s and stores are a way different ballgame. ATM’s and stores bear the burden of proof, have negative consequences if wrong and don’t get money out of the deal. If flashed by a camera, YOU bear the burden of proof, the owners of the cameras have no negative consequences, but stand to make lots and lots of money.

  30. azmojo says:

    Let’s add to what No One said.

    The store and ATM cams are owned and operated by private enterprises, not a government sponsored one. In those stores, I have no ID hanging around my neck or on my face or back that they can identify me with and track who I am, how many times I’ve been there, what I buy, etc. If I do steal something from one of these stores, they will not prosecute unless they have ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE — a photo or video isn’t enough. They will have to find other evidence to get a conviction to stick.

  31. azmojo says:

    One other point about this being a traffic control device. There are no labels or stickers on the cameras to identify them for what they are. We all know what stop lights and signs are for, and they are covered in the driver’s manual. All this guy has to do is say he didn’t know what the machine was. It’s not a fair assumption that everyone knows that a box mounted on a pole is for – It isn’t mentioned anywhere in the driver’s manual. How can it be a traffic control device if it’s not even mentioned in the driver’s manual?

  32. Interesting. According to the DPS’s press release:

    Mr. Townsend was booked … on the charges of Criminal Damage (ARS 13-1602.A2) a class 4 felony, Interference with a Traffic Control Device (ARS 28-649A) a class 1 misdemeanor and Criminal Trespass (ARS 13-1502) a class 3 misdemeanor.

    As others had said it is not a traffic control device, and Criminal Trespass requires a property owner or their authorized representative to request the trespasser to leave and for that person to refuse. I doubt the cop asked him to leave. But interestingly, criminal damage:

    ARS 13-1602. Criminal damage; classification

    A. A person commits criminal damage by recklessly:

    2. Tampering with property of another person so as substantially to impair its function or value

    This is the property of another person? Redflex? The state is not a person (though it is incorporated).

    The one thing this fellow did was expose the hand of the state (and county). Tis was what they were waiting to hit a post-it note or silly string sprayer with. Fortuitously, this guy obliged to physically damage a camera.

  33. […] mostly silent regarding this incident, a dramatic difference from exactly two weeks ago when a Glendale man attacked a scam cam with a pick ax. Department reps took the opportunity then to emphasize that it’s literally their way on the […]

  34. Brent says:

    Yeah, we don’t need to be violent, we just need to vote for a democrat or a republican or something, that will fix all the problems, right? Or, oh wait I’ve got an even better one; we just need to pass a ballot initiative, that’ll solve the old problem, won’t it? You don’t think that they’d supplant the will of the people as expressed through a ballot initiative, do ya? Of course not, they’d never have the Attorney General say there’s something wrong with the law the day after it passes, that’d NEVER happen!

    If I’m an illegal alien with no license and an unregistered vehicle then I don’t have to worry about these cameras, isn’t that nice? It’s almost as if they’re targeting American citizens with laws that apply only to us.

  35. […] fined excessively for violations caught on traffic camera. And worse: a man in Glendale, Arizona took a pick axe to a speeding camera. He was fined […]

  36. […] cameras have been rendered inoperable with post-it notes, silly string, sledgehammers, pick-axes, spray paint, large rocks, spare tires, as well as two acts(1) of God(2) […]

  37. […] fined excessively for violations caught on traffic camera. And worse: a man in Glendale, Arizona took a pick axe to a speeding camera. He was fined $3,500. Crossed-Posted from Neighborhood […]

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