An Alabama man whose YouTube videos made him an internet villain among cyclists has been arrested and charged with reckless endangerment.
Cyclists around the country had seized on videos created by Michael Keith Maddox, of Piedmont, Alabama, who was fond of recording himself passing cyclists and exclaiming “Ought to run him in a ditch.” A mashup of his videos is posted above.
“Ride your little bicycle, you piece of crap,” he yells in one. “I’m going to hurt one of them one of these days, I can’t help it.” In another, he revs his engine while passing two cyclists and laughs gleefully at frightening them. “That scare you boys?”
Cyclists seemed to think Maddox’s videos expressed an all-too-common mind frame. “I feel like I meet one person with his attitude on every ride,” wrote one YouTube commenter.
The videos were turned over to the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department as evidence against Maddox. Alabama.com reported today that the department served Maddox a warrant. Bond was set at $3,000.
“While we knew this would be controversial, we have the duty to investigate all complaints brought to us,” read a statement on the sheriff’s department’s Facebook page. “Knowing the nature of this case we presented it to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Which resulted in the issuance of a warrant. It’s a tough job that has to be done.”
The Anniston Star, meanwhile, writes that Maddox apologized on Facebook.
“I want to publicly apologize to all people that I have offended over those absolute stupid videos that I posted … anybody who knows me knows that would never ever intentionally hurt anyone,” Maddox wrote. “I am truly sorry for anyone I may have offended … and please everyone share the road and be very aware of bicycle riders everywhere.”