This year’s edition of “Go Topless Jeep Weekend” – an annual event drawing thousands of Jeep enthusiasts to Crystal Beach, where police are likely stretched thin with various disorderly conduct and public intoxication arrests – may have been the site of a woman’s kidnapping by two men who are accused of raping her.
The Galveston County Sheriff’s Office announced on Friday the arrests of two men – Bryant Chatham, 20, and Erick Martinez, 21 – in connection to the May 21 alleged abduction and sexual assault. Deputies added that the pair from Humble was arrested on their outstanding warrants on Thursday, June 15, 25 days after.
In a news release, the sheriff’s office wrote that the victim reported she was forced into a pickup truck and later sexually assaulted in Humble.
Deputies also allege that the suspects demanded ransom money as a condition to release the victim.
An investigation produced Martinez and Chatham as suspects, but detectives didn’t say how they made the connection.
Despite their arrests, one of the suspects would go on to commit more criminal acts while in custody, the sheriff’s office said.
According to the release, a handcuffed Martinez assaulted a detective as he was being escorted into the Galveston County Jail. Martinez was quickly apprehended less than a mile away in an alleyway, GCSO added.
Both men are in jail and charged with aggravated kidnapping. Martinez was additionally charged with aggravated sexual assault, assault on a peace officer, and escape while in custody.
Chatham’s bond was set at $200,000. Martinez’s total bond amount was set at $300,000.
The sheriff’s office earlier reported 234 arrests and 283 charges were attributed to the 2023 Go Topless Jeep Weekend, most for misdemeanors. Thirteen of the charges were felonies.