Dozens are in police custody after the so-called “Go Topless Jeep Weekend” in southern Texas apparently spiraled out of control.
According to local ABC affiliate KTRK, “more than 86 arrests” were made “in just 24 hours” as the Jeep rally kicked off at a beach about an hour north of Galveston. By Sunday morning, at least 151 had been arrested in connection with the event.
Most of those arrested have been charged with public intoxication, a misdemeanor. Others face charges of disorderly conduct, KTRK reports, and one man was arrested “for breaking into homes and vehicles.”
Arrests at Jeep rally
The rally, which happens each year on the Bolivar Peninsula, was once a simple “gathering of Jeep lovers who took off the tops from their off-road Jeeps and would then cruise the beach,” KTRK said.
But over the last several years, the event has skyrocketed in popularity, KTRK reported, and partygoers headed to Texas again this year despite lingering concerns about the coronavirus.
According to Breitbart, law enforcement presence at the event was heavy, with “more than 60 sheriff’s office deputies and 15 state troopers” being deployed to keep the partying under control.
More arrests were made this year than in years past. According to Breitbart, some 100 people were taken into custody in connection to the event in 2019, and at least 63 people were arrested there in 2020.
According to Houston’s KHOU 11, two people were also shot around the time of last year’s gathering, although it’s unclear if they were taking part in the festivities.
So far, no deaths have been reported as a result of the event.
Partying amid COVID-19
The rally comes just days after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) started relaxing its guidelines for Americans on mask wearing amid COVID-19. According to the Associated Press, the CDC says Americans don’t need to wear masks outdoors in most cases, and those who are fully vaccinated can forgo face coverings indoors, too, in most circumstances, the CDC said Thursday.
The state of Texas, for its part, rolled back its mask requirements back in March, which may have had something to do with the size of this year’s Jeep rally.
One can only hope justice will be served in the cases of those whose partying got a little out of hand this weekend.