Police: Man shot red-light camera after it shot him first
By Don Jacobs (Contact)
Originally published 10:59 a.m., December 12, 2007
Updated 10:59 a.m., December 12, 2007
A Knoxville man accused of disabling a red light camera with a hunting rifle had been captured running the same traffic light five hours earlier, police said this morning.
Clifford E. Clark III, 47, of Wildercliff Lane in North Knox County is charged with felony vandalism and reckless endangerment. He is accused of shooting the red light camera at Broadway and Interstate 640 about 2 a.m. Nov. 25.
Clifford E. Clark III
Just hours prior to the shooting, at 9:11 p.m. Nov. 24, that same red light camera recorded a picture of Clark allegedly running the red light at Broadway and I-640, Knoxville Police Department Capt. Gordon Catlett said this morning.
Catlett said KPD officers reviewed the alleged infraction and on Nov. 30 issued Clark a notice of violation. If Clark does not contest the violation, he must pay a $50 fine by Dec. 31, Catlett said.
Clark was arrested after officers patrolling around Broadway heard gunshots. When they investigated, they saw Clark leaving a business parking lot along Broadway and stopped the van he was driving. On the floorboard of the van officers found a .30-06 hunting rifle.
The red light camera had been shot three times and was out of commission for two days. Since it was first activated in September 2006, the camera at Broadway and I-640 has recorded nearly 7,000 incidents of vehicles disregarding the red light, police said.
At the time of Clark's arrest, police said Clark had never been cited for running a red light by the camera system. However, there is a delay of several days from the time the camera snaps the infraction to the time KPD officers review the incident and decide a violation occurred.
More details as they develop online and in Thursday's News Sentinel.