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Man buys police Web site after getting ticket

A man in Tennessee gets a speeding ticket and notices, when he goes to the police Web site, that the domain name is about to expire. So he buys it.

Revenge can be sweet. It can be taken cold. Or it can consist of allowing your longest finger to linger in front your local police force's face.

According to TriCities.com, Brian McCrary was a touch peeved when he got a speeding ticket in Bluff City, Tenn.

Such is the human need for self-righteousness that we often react in a wronged manner, even when we know that we were, in fact, speeding. Silently or not, we wonder why the cop couldn't have pulled over an ugly car? You know, Subaru drivers.

McCrary was allegedly caught going 56 mph in a 45 zone--which, in the vast scheme of speed, is not exactly at Nascar levels. He was caught by one of Bluff City's helpful speed cameras--one that happened to have issued 1,662 tickets in its first six weeks of standing guard over the populace.

McCrary happened to have some questions (other than, I think, "Why me?"), so he went to the police department's Web site. Perhaps because he is a network designer, or perhaps because at least one of his eyes was fully functional, McCray noticed a notice. It was from those helpful customer service people at GoDaddy.com. It explained that the domain had expired and that it would be sold or deleted in a mere 42 days.

The new www.bluffcitypd.com. An improvement, surely. Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

So McCrary was forced to weigh his civic-minded nature against his speed camera irritation. In an act of astounding patience and fortitude, McCrary made like a camera himself, watched and waited the 42 days, and then calmly put down $10 less than his fine in order to be the proud owner of bluffcitypd.com.

I know that you will wish to hurtle at excessive speed in order to see what the site looks like now. Well, McCrary decided to be truly civic-minded when he took hold of the site. He turned it into a fine repository of information about the Bluff City speed traps.

Beneath the cutest illustration of a police badgeman holding a wad of readies, McCrary wrote these impassioned words: "This site was originally set up to expose the speed trap in Bluff City, Tenn., where the speed limit, for no reason, changes from 55 to 45 on a four-lane divided highway. Only 200 yards away, a speed camera is waiting, sucking over a quarter million dollars a month out of the local economy."

Go Daddy told Tri-Cities.com that it did try to contact the police department 5 and 12 days after the domain expired. This was after an unrequited correspondence of five e-mails before the expiration date. Perhaps the police were too busy working out where to put another speed camera--though the official version, given to TriCities.com by Bluff City Police Chief David Nelson, was, "it just slipped my mind."

He added, with unhandcuffed honesty: "If you open up a Web site and let it go down, somebody can buy it--I did not know that."

Strangely, the long arm of the law has not decided to go down for a second time upon McCrary--at least not yet. Nelson says the police department has taken its domain business elsewhere.

Perhaps, on its new site, the police department might have a live feed from the speed cameras. That might make for arresting viewing.