It was another wild, wild time on the beach.
The Go Topless Jeep Weekend held in Galveston County, Texas is usually full of criminal activity fueled by alcohol consumption and this year certainly didn’t disappoint. Police arrested 234 people, filed 283 charges – 13 of which were felonies – 40 people were injured – two critically – and three people were shot.
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The annual gathering of Jeep enthusiasts and those just wanting to get in on the good time is often chaotic at best. For example, local station ABC 13 Houston points out that for the 2022 event there were 175 arrests and 17 felony charges.
In contrast, ABC 13’s report points out that Surfside Beach police reported zero issues during the event. They went so far as to thank attendees for being well-behaved. In other words, if you want to attend next year and don’t want to deal with thugs, you know where to hang out. Attendees there even reportedly fed the police and gave officers Gatorade to stay hydrated during the day.
Jeepers in general are a jovial bunch, but we’ve learned from experience some bristle when a light is shone on the violence and criminal behavior that’s all too common at events like Go Topless Jeep Weekend. We understand some people who aren’t really part of the community show up to these events that have ballooned in size, causing trouble and making the hobby look bad. But that doesn’t mean we should just ignore what’s going on.
Instead of getting mad at us and other media outlets for covering the problems at these events, perhaps Jeepers, and for good measure other automotive enthusiasts, should come up with ways to help discourage criminal behavior. After all, we personally as enthusiasts avoid some car gatherings because of the criminal element, and we know many others who feel the same way. Perhaps that’s why people who attend at Surfside Beach make a concerted effort to be the exact opposite of troublemakers.
Images via Facebook, Surfside Beach Police Department