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Rowdy Jeep weekend bedeviled Boliver area

The annual Go Topless Jeep celebration on the Boliver Peninsula led to more than 600 calls for service and 305 people booked into the Galveston County Jail, of whom 125 were from Boliver.

Emergency units from Jefferson County participated in restoring order in the area, located in Galveston County.

The crimes ranged from drunk driving to disorderly conduct to public intoxication to criminal mischief, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said of the four-day period from Thursday to Sunday.

But that’s not all.

There were at least three major wrecks.

“On Friday, one individual fell off a truck at the beach and the vehicle ran over him. He was life-flighted,” Trochesset said. “One individual fell over a vehicle and another vehicle struck him. He was life-flighted.”

A third person was seriously injured in a vehicle crash and was pulled from the vehicle. This person was also life-flighted.

At one point on Saturday there were 11 emergency medical services vehicles working on the peninsula, which is roughly 30 miles long.

The sheriff believes there were more than eight car crashes over the four-day period; he said he heard there were 75 calls for service just to EMS.

Trochesset said there hadn’t been that many incidents since before Hurricane Ike, perhaps back to the 1980s or 1990s.

Rumors have floated that one or more people died during the event but Trochesset said he had no confirmation of anyone dying. Several participants were in intensive care units of a hospital.

And, in addition to all of this, there was at least one female taken to a hospital to have a rape kit or medical examination for sexual assault.


Law enforcement

Trochesset said between dispatch and beach detail to patrols there were 50 sheriff’s office employees on their days off working overtime just on Saturday.

“We schedule the Boliver Jeep weekend just as we would the Fourth of July. Now we have Memorial Day weekend and we will schedule as before and hope this was not a precursor.”


The petition

A petition was started by Daniel Wilson to “End Go Topless Weekend” on change.org

As of 5:30 p.m. Monday there were around 14,630 signatures.

Trochesset isn’t sure how much good the petition will do since Texas is under the Open Beaches Act. This was passed to assure the public “has the free and unrestricted right of ingress and egress to and from public beaches,” according to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

“Since the event was created through social media there are no organizers,” he said. “We don’t know what can be done. To stop their access to the beach you would have to go through legislators.”


Last words

Trochesset said he was working to make sure the Memorial Day weekend is safe one and has some last words on the topic.

“We would hope that when individuals come down to our county they would treat it with respect like their own hometown,” he said.


See also: 11th grader in Texas Children’s Hospital after festival fight