Two shot, and nearly 200 arrested. We'd call that a fail.
It's not been a great year for social gatherings.
After months of being made to adhere to strict social-distancing guidelines to slow the spread of Covid-19, thousands of off-roading enthusiasts and partygoers risked infection to congregate at the annual "Go Topless Jeep Weekend" at a Bolivar Peninsula beach in Galveston County, Texas. Beaches were just reopened May 1 after the state began easing its shelter-in-place restrictions, although Texans are still being asked to practice social distancing, wearing masks and maintaining adequate distance between one another to lower the risk of virus transmission.
But looking back at the event, that's hardly the transgression that sticks out.
According to NBC News, a total of more than 180 people were arrested at the Go Topless Jeep Weekend event, with charges ranging from assault, driving without a seat belt, public intoxication, and even driving while intoxicated. Of course, we should have known things would end poorly after this exquisite, hilarious gem of a local news report went viral partway through the event, carrying remarks about how last year's event saw about 80 attendees arrested and six hospitalized:
But as if that weren't bad enough, two attendees were reportedly shot in the torso at this year's Go Topless Jeep Weekend event, after a group argument escalated out of control. The two attendees, both male, were airlifted out of the event to a hospital for treatment, and a third man fled. No one has yet been arrested in connection to the shooting.
Before you go passing judgment upon the Jeep lovers in your life, you should know that despite the event's name, it attracts off-roading enthusiast of every stripe - not just Jeep Wrangler owners. And it serves as a perfect example of how inappropriate, animal behavior, with absolutely no connection to car culture, can unfortunately make an entire community look bad.
This is why we can't have nice things.