By: Mark Diaz
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Galveston Criminal Attorney Discusses Arrests During The Lone Star Rally
Lone Star Rally
I decided to do another Facebook Live this week. I have more of a local topic that we can discuss. A lot of people ask me questions about the Lone Star Rally and arrests, I don’t know if the city of Galveston has put out official numbers yet, but I know we were supposed to expect about half a million people and around 250,000 bikes on the island. I can tell you from driving around on Friday, it was pretty crowded on the island in terms of traffic.
I just wanted to look at arrests during the rally, which started on Thursday the third and went through Sunday. I went through some of the arrests, or all of the arrests, and tried to figure out some numbers. The easiest way for me to break it down was by looking at the arrests in the city of Galveston from the third to the sixth.
Galveston Arrests Over Weekend
So that would be Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, in the city of Galveston. It looks like we had 151 arrests. Now, for the same period in the entire county, we had 244. The bigger number was just in the city of Galveston, presumably because of all the people here on the island.
Then I looked through the arrests, and the majority of what I saw appeared to be alcohol-related offenses, including a whole lot of class C arrests for things like public intoxication. There was an arrest for the assault of a police officer.
That was Thursday here on the island so it’s hard to know, without knowing anything about the case, whether or not it was related to the event. Nothing else from Thursday, other than that one, stood out to me.
There were possession cases, and intoxication cases, but nothing that I would say had to do with the event, other than the fact that the numbers seem high for those days. On Thursday, county-wide, we had a total of 54 arrests. Friday picked up a little and we had 60.
Again, several driving while intoxicated arrests. Then there were at least two people arrested on the strand for disorderly conduct. They were fighting, which is a misdemeanor. I would say that two people fighting on the strand were probably directly related to the rally.
There was an unlawful carrying of a weapon on the island. That may or may not have been from a traffic stop. There are some arrests that I can identify are not related to anything with the crowds. Here’s one arrest for bail jumping, that would have been something that someone had pending.
Why Did Those Arrested Encounter Police
Now, why did they encounter the police? I can’t see just from the data. A parole board warrant, again that’s not going to be related to anyone visiting unless that’s the reason they encountered police in the first place. Then Saturday was our biggest day across the county, we had a total of 77 people arrested and right out of the gate, we’ve got several more DWIs. Here we have unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.
Again, the question there is how did they encounter the police? Was it rally-related or not? We don’t know. So it played out kind of how I thought, we have a whole lot of stuff related to intoxication. There were also several assault cases, and the assaults tend to happen when people are drinking.
All in all, it didn’t seem to be that big of an event for police, although, for the city of Galveston to have 151 arrests in that short period means that local law enforcement was out and busy. In the paper this morning I saw we had three motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes. Only one on the island, I think two were on the freeway, with one person seriously injured.
Other Incidents On Galveston Island
As far as deaths on the island, we only had one reported this morning. We had a couple of minors in possession of alcohol on the island. There was an arrest on the charge of unsafe start from a parked, stopped, or standing position. That was on The Strand so I don’t know what that person did, but it was on the strand so it had to be rally-related.
We had two more people charged with disorderly conduct for fighting on the strand. Another person was arrested for unsafe start from a parked, stopped, or standing position on The Strand. For those of you that may not know, bikes line The Strand and then kind of just make a loop as everybody rides.
These people were doing something dangerous on The Strand on their motorcycles and got arrested. We have a public intoxication on the strand as well as 5+ more disorderly conduct fighting on the strand. All different people. So, I don’t know if it was one big fight or various fights. Can’t tell just from looking at the numbers.
Sunday, we got back down to a total of 53 arrests for the county. More public intoxication on the seawall, unlawful carrying of a weapon on Broadway, driving while intoxicated on Broadway, DWI on Broadway, and so on.
Wrapping It Up
Nothing that we didn’t expect to see from what I can tell. As I suspected most of the law enforcement activity was aimed at people involved in alcohol-related offenses or the offenses we typically see related to the consumption of alcohol.
Law enforcement was very busy but the numbers don’t seem extremely high to me. When I said we’d had 151 arrests during that period, just for reference, the weekend before which was Halloween, Thursday to Sunday for the city of Galveston we had 111. 151 is not a huge increase from 111 but obviously, it is an increase.
I’ll start trying to do this more often when we have big traffic weekends just to see what the numbers do. I feel like years ago it used to be in the paper, but I haven’t seen it in there in a while. People always ask me after an event, or they call me during and ask how many people have been arrested. Thought I would do this live and give you all some of that information.
Mark Diaz & Associates represent people charged with a crime in Galveston, Tiki Island, Jamaica Beach, League City, Texas City, Algoa, Santa Fe, Hitchcock, La Marque, Bayou Vista, Bacliff, Kemah, Clear Lake Shores, Bolivar Peninsula, Dickinson, and San Leon. Contact one of our Galveston County criminal defense lawyers now at (409) 407-4784.