Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My Hero

Man arrested for shooting traffic camera

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Police have lost red-light cameras to traffic accidents but never to gun play. "This is the first one that's been shot," Capt. Gordon Catlett said of the wounded camera at the intersection of Broadway Avenue and Interstate 640 — one of 15 camera-equipped
intersections in the city.

Clifford E. Clark, 47, was charged with felony vandalism and reckless endangerment for allegedly firing at least three rounds from a .30-06 hunting rifle at the camera, knocking it out of action.

He was arrested after patrol officers heard shots around 2 a.m. Sunday, spotted a minivan leaving the parking lot of a closed business and pulled it over. Inside they found Clark and the high-powered rifle.

Clark, now facing a $50 fine if convicted and loss of his rifle, refused to say anything about the incident to police, leaving the motive unclear.

Catlett, who oversees the red-light camera program, said 6,798 drivers have been photographed running the red light at Broadway and I-640 and ticketed since the camera was installed in 2006. Clark was not one of them, he said.

I've always dreamed of shooting a stop light camera out of raw enmity, but I've never had the guts, nor the $50, to go through with it. What I find most humorous is that felony vandalism and reckless endangerment with a firearm only add up to a $50 fine in Tennessee. Shit, I wonder what you'd have to do to get slapped with a $500 fine? Shoot speed, strangle a puppy and throw babies off a roof?

This reminds me of my trip to Tennessee in senior year of cool-ege when a few buddies and I visited an old friend in Nashville. Posted on the walls of every bar bathroom you can find were advertisements for DUI Mike, who was an attorney that did exactly what you think he would do: get you out of DUIs. I made fun of DUI Mike while in the bathroom and some well-meaning countryboy was sure to get the facts straight by saying that, "Hey, don't make fun of DUI Mike. DUI Mike got my buddy out of a DUI." Touche.

When DUI Mike died unexpectedly a few years ago, there were rumors swirling that, ironically, he died when a drunk driver hit him. This isn't too dissimilar from the hilarious rumor that local fitness "celebrity" John Basedow died in the Thai tsunami in 2005. Here's the originating seed of that rumor. It even inspired some amateur photoshopping (below). Upon hearing this, Basedow himself quickly took action, and wrote on his MySpace page, "John Basedow is not only still alive but has never even been to Thailand." John Basedow smart.

Note the cherubic glow surrounding Dr. Basedow. Also note the hot pants and amazing abs.

Anyway, though DUI Mike does maintain an eerie posthumous web presence, he just died of a heart attack. Tennessee is a straaaaaange place.

No comments: