(Video Credit: KHOU 11)
The annual “Go Topless Jeep Weekend” in Texas devolved into chaos with over 100 arrests and dozens of individuals, including a sheriff’s deputy, winding up in the hospital during the viral weekend event for Jeep enthusiasts that boasted more than 80,000 attendees.
The massive get-together that saw 40,000 people alone on Saturday took place at Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula in Galveston County, Texas. Police prepped for the event but it still went over the edge big time. Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset told FOX 26 Houston that deputies responded to multiple assaults, fights, and DWIs.
Sgt. John Hamm responded to a crash at approximately 1:30 am on Sunday and was struck in a hit-and-run by a suspected drunk driver, according to KHOU. Both his legs were broken, so was his arm and he received head injuries in the incident. The deputy just about went through the car’s windshield after impact. He was airlifted to the University of Texas Medical Branch, according to Click2Houston where he underwent surgery Sunday morning. He was still reportedly being operated on as of Sunday afternoon.
The 22-year-old driver who is being charged with hitting the deputy has been reportedly identified as Darius Danzell Gilbert, according to Sheriff Henry Trouchesset. He was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer. It’s believed he was intoxicated when he hit the deputy. His bond was set at $100,000.
(Video Credit: 12NewsNow)
Thirty-eight people were taken to area hospitals during the rowdy event. Eight of those were taken by helicopter with the rest being transported by ambulance. Multiple area agencies, including Galveston Fire, Cy-Fair Fire, and North Montgomery Fire responded to incidents. Most were minor injuries but authorities say there were two major traumas.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Galveston County Emergency Services District No.2 reported that the large influx of people was putting a major strain on emergency services. Evidently, the number of attendees is way up this year. Even so, last year’s event saw approximately 200 people get arrested as opposed to this year.
“Today we’ve seen an increase in calls for service for EMS and fire assistance,” District Manager Doug Saunders said. “We’ve had limited communications due to the amount of people on the peninsula.”
“It was pretty crazy. I mean, there was people everywhere,” Courtney Thompson told KHOU. It’s her fifth year attending the party weekend.
She wasn’t shocked by the number of arrests made by police.
8 people airlifted to hospitals during ‘Go Topless Jeep Weekend’ in Galveston. A county official says up to 80,000 people were at Bolivar Peninsula.
There were a number of arrests. The influx of people straining emergency services, details at 8 @KPRC2 pic.twitter.com/7VoD4eYDyd
— Rilwan Balogun (@KPRC2Rilwan) May 22, 2022
“I’m not surprised. One guy told me that he saw a guy get in a fight right in front of him and he was bleeding on the ground,” she said.
Hundreds of Jeeps lined up to board the Galveston Ferry Sunday morning. Thompson said she was disappointed that the event was marred by violence, destruction, and chaos.
“It just sucks that people have to come out and act a fool and leave trash … that’s not what it’s about,” she remarked.
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