SANTA PAULA, CA – A reserve officer with the Santa Paula Police Department who made a YouTube video joking about running over bicyclists apologized Saturday, saying in a Facebook posting that the footage was satirical.
“I would like to apologize to all those who have been offended by what was intended to be a satirical video on cyclists,” said Laura Weintraub, a personal trainer and three-year reserve on the 28-officer small-town force. “The response from the cycling community has made me aware of the sport and its safety issues and challenges with drivers on the road of which I was completely unaware.”
The video, published Friday, unleashed a barrage of criticism on the department’s Facebook page against Weintraub, the department and Police Chief Steve McLean.
McLean said Saturday he had placed Weintraub and Michael Gray, a volunteer officer who made light of and defended the video on the Facebook page, on leave pending an investigation.