CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man accused of tampering with red-light cameras on Long Island pleaded not guilty to charges on Tuesday.
Supporters held signs that read “Stop the red light cameras” outside court in Central Islip, where 42-year-old Stephen Ruth was arraigned.READ MORE: NYPD: Mother Throws 4-Week-Old Daughter, 2-Year-Old Son Out Window Before Jumping Out Herself
Ruth faces criminal tampering and obstruction charges for using a painter’s extension rod to push up several red light cameras in Ronkonkoma up to the sky so they would not catch violators.
He posted video of his actions on Facebook and has become an outspoken advocate for the elimination of the devices, calling them extortion, CBS2 reported.READ MORE: Caught On Camera: Man Punches Woman In Face After Stealing Phone In Central Park
“Me moving the camera out of the way is preventing the camera company as well the county from stealing millions and millions of dollars from the public,” Ruth, who has been dubbed the “Red Light Robin Hood,” said.
He claims yellow lights have been shortened as a trick to give out more tickets to drivers, but Suffolk County authorities said that’s not true, WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported.
“I’m willing to go as far as it’s willing to go, I was willing to go to jail when I committed the crime and I’m willing to go to jail now,” Ruth said. “I believe in what’s going on here, I believe in exposing the truth.”MORE NEWS: 145th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Underway In Tarrytown
Ruth is due back in court on Jan. 6.