The weather was perfect, the booze was flowing, and the big cars were going vroom vroom: What possible reason was there for the annual Go Topless Jeep Weekend at Bolivar Peninsula’s Crystal Beach in Southeast Texas not to go forward this past weekend?
Jeep Weekend, baby!!! I can think of no reason why this was perhaps not the best idea at this time. Per the below clip from 12 News Now, the event went off without a hitch or masks, and according to the network, only resulted in around 140 total arrests.
Not even SNL could not write something as ridiculous as this actual, real news report from my local station pic.twitter.com/VVTziwuyOd
— socially distant rendon (@maria_rendon97) May 18, 2020
According to the Houston Chronicle, Jeep Weekend is not set up by any particular organisation and is instead a decentralized “gathering of Jeep enthusiasts.” Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said that approximately 80 extra sheriff’s employees were slated to work overtime during the weekend. However, Trochesset told the Chronicle that those officers were focused on preventing problems that had occurred in prior years like public intoxication, driving while intoxicated, and vehicle burglary, as the sheer volume of attendees virtually guaranteed it would be impossible to deal with any other concerns that might possibly exist.
“There is almost no way to deal with any six-foot rule. It’s almost impossible to enforce,” Trochesset told the paper, though it’s not clear what exactly he was referring to.
Trochesset added that anyone facing arrest at the event could very well be kept in holding cells with other people, which could arguably be viewed as the cops throwing in their own form of reckless behaviour.
“Are they [people who were arrested] all going to be isolated to their own specific cell? The answer is no. And if they are that concerned about it, don’t go down to the beach.”
“People come down here to enjoy their time, now, of course, you’ve got the people who get out of hand and don’t know how to take care of their own business, so that’s what we’re here for,” Sheriff Sergeant Mark McGaffey told 12 News Now. “Basically, come down here and enjoy yourself and have a good time. We don’t have a problem. That’s what it’s about. But when you start acting silly, then the sheriff has a place for you to stay.”
Two people were wounded during a shooting, 12 News Now reported. One eyewitness told the station there didn’t seem to be any plans for medical personnel to be present and the situation was not “under control.”
“It’s surreal, I mean you sober up real fast when you see this going on. And you’re like, where’s the medics? Where’s the ambulance?” the attendee said. “That’s what was going through my mind, was how can we get this under control?”
“I don’t think I would ever wanna come down here during a Jeep Weekend, where it’s just uncontrolled and crazy. Because I’ve got a 5-year-old daughter and my wife here,” that attendee added. “I don’t think it’s a place you would wanna bring a family.”
And to think, it was only a few weeks ago that Galveston County’s beaches were off-limits except during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. for people taking walks or jogging.
Everything is normal in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that daycare centres, restaurants, bars, bingo parlors, bowling alleys, rodeos, and aquariums can reopen in the coming days and weeks after they were closed for some reason. What could go wrong? It’s not like there’s anything else going on to cast a pall over the festivities.