Jeep's Go Topless Weekend Ends In 100 Arrests

The annual Jeep Weekend ended up in more than 100 arrests, involving cases of brawls, drunk driving, and even an assault on a police officer. Large crowds of tourists and Jeep lovers gather at Bolivar Peninsula's Crystal Beach every May for its "Go Topless" event. According to its official page, Jeep Weekend is an "unorganized gathering" that attracts visitors from all over Texas and Louisiana, many of which come the Monday before the weekend the event is held. Details of the event describe it as a time for "Jeepers" to meet up with fellow enthusiasts to enjoy a "relaxed weekend" on the beach.

However, what took place in this year's Go Topless Weekend was an event that culminated in mass hospitalization instead (via Fox News). Jeep Weekend kicked off on Saturday, May 21, and reportedly had about 40,000 attendees. On the following day, dozens of visitors were transported to the hospital by ambulance, with at least eight being air-lifted in helicopters. An estimated 38 people were hospitalized after the event, while over a hundred were arrested for crimes such as DWIs and assault.

Jeep Weekend resulted in serious injuries

Among the arrests over the weekend involved a suspected drunk driver who crashed onto a police officer, inflicting grave injuries in the process. Galveston County Deputy Sgt. John Hamm was responding to a minor crash near Holiday Drive early Sunday morning when he was hit by another vehicle. The deputy was hit so hard that he "almost went through" the windshield of the assailant's car, according to Fox 26. While Deputy Sgt. Hamm suffered from arm and head injuries, including two broken legs, he's reportedly in stable condition. Hamm had surgery on one of his legs immediately after the incident and was expected to undergo another one the next day. Galveston County Chief Deputy Dennis Macik claims the hospitalized officer is in "a lot of pain," and that it will take a long time before he can fully recover. Macik chastised the eventgoers' behavior, describing them as "totally out of control."

The Chief Deputy also expressed his disdain for the offenders saying that they have "definitely no respect for law enforcement." Galveston County Commissioner Darrell Apffel revealed that preparations for the event started a full six months before the target weekend. However, once Jeep Weekend started, Apffel was startled when people "came out of the woodworks," stating that the overwhelming number of attendees amounted to 50,000. Apffel admitted that they have not seen this kind of crowd since 2019. The 2022 Jeep Weekend event resulted in a total of 175 arrests, with 193 charges stemming from crimes such as misdemeanor and felony.

A history of mass arrests and hospitalizations

Mass arrests are nothing new when it comes to the annual Go Topless Jeep Weekend. In 2021, the popular beach-side event resulted in a startling amount of arrests amounting to over 230, according to ABC 13. Aside from criminal acts, the 2021 event also involved at least one fatal accident where two women fell from an electrical lift. One of them was hospitalized for a broken leg, while the other died from severe head injuries. Of course, many of the arrests mirror those that occurred here in 2022, including multiple cases of DWIs, disorderly conduct, and various misdemeanors.

That said, Jeep Weekend ended up having a similar outcome in 2019 as well, with over 100 arrests, as well as people being air-lifted to the hospital. Some of the more gruesome incidents occurring that year included a man being hospitalized after having his head run over by a vehicle (via Newsweek). When Newsweek reported their report on the man's head injury, a petition garnered over 16,000 signatures in an effort to prevent Jeep Weekend from ever happening again, yet the Go Topless event still lives on years later. 

Will Go Topless Weekend carry on?

As of writing, the same petition from 2019 has approximately 21,590 signatures. According to, if the petition reaches 25,000 signatures, it will have become among the top signed petitions on the website. Petition creator Daniel Wilson last posted an update to the petition shortly after the petition's initial release, suggesting that he'd asked the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce for support. In response, the chamber of commerce said that they "will be working" with officials to see "what can be done by law to alleviate" the problem.

Wilson claims that his petition received support from the Bolivar Peninsula Chamber County's Sheriff Department as well. Among the petitioners were families of people who were air-lifted to the hospital following the event. Some expressed anguish over the many casualties caused by the controversial Jeep Weekend event, while others simply didn't want their family vacation to be disturbed by the rowdy crowd it attracts. Whether or not next year's event will continue this disastrous trend remains to be seen.