EDITORS NOTE: This is the second in the two-part series on the events that happened over the weekend at Pool Ranch.



Henderson County officials are studying information gathered during the Texas Redneck Games held over the weekend at Pool Ranch located off Texas Highway 19 north of Athens, in preparation for filing charges against the promoter of the event.

A multi-agency task force, which included the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department, made 60 arrests associated with the event, according to information from Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Pat McWilliams.

Patsy Pool, wife of property owner Garland Pool, said the location was leased to Texas Redneck Games, Inc. for the weekend and her family had no involvement in the event.

Henderson County Sheriff Ronny Brownlow said a major part of the criminal investigation was a false claim made by the promoter in the application process. “The law requires them to get a permit through the county judge’s office if there are going to be over 2,500 in attendance. The promoter said they weren’t going to have over 2,000. You can’t put on a production like that and pay for it with only 2,000,” Brownlow said, meaning an attendance that low would not cover the costs of such a large event.

Chief Deputy Tony Allison said security was also an issue. “The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission actually worked the event and we provided security,” Allison said. “The security that the promoters put together was totally inadequate for that number of people. The medical care for that kind of event was totally inadequate. There were a lot of issues that created a major public safety situation as far as we’re concerned.”

Allison said authorities counted more than enough people in attendance to determine that the event was in violation of the Mass Gathering Act. “The act requires the promoters of any event drawing more than 2,500 people in an unincorporated area to get with the county judge, the fire marshall and the sheriff 45 days prior to the event so authorities can view their plan for public safety, traffic control and sanitation and health. We feel very comfortable in telling you there was a minimum or 6,000 people out there, but realistically closer to 7,500 to 8,000.”

Allison said this is most extensive investigation the sheriff’s department has done concerning any promotion at the ranch.

“We got complaints prior to this event from numerous citizens in that area. They had gotten word of the event and I guess from their past experiences living out there, we had heard reports of noise, traffic and illegal dumping. We also got a complaint from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, so we decided to move foreward with the investigation,” Allison said.

Local pastor Eric Graham, who did not attend the event, said, however,

“I know a lot of public drunkenness (went on) ... my problem with public drunkenness is I can keep my kids at arms length and know they are not going to drink any alcohol. But my main issue is nudity, because all they have to do is see it and it is burned in the negative of their brain,” Graham said.

Law officers observing the event confirmed there were problems with traffic congestion as well as participants who combined the use of four wheelers with alcohol.

Another concern was illegal dumping. “We cited two people out there who pulled the plug on the septic system on their RV and just let it dump out as they went down the road,” Allison said.

Several of the participants at the event needed medical attention, officials said. “We got a call about a man lying by one of the pathways, suffering convulsions. No one was doing anything for him. EMS tried to get down there and the crowd would not get out of the way. It took a combined effort of the fire department, law enforcement and EMS to try to get down to him. They finally had to abandon their vehicles and go on foot,” Allison said.

Officers also reported that public nudity was evident at the event. “The scene was kind of like Mardi Gras in New Orleans where people will gather on the main street and encourage women to expose their breasts. There were many variations of that. It was taking place in front of adults as well as minors,” Allison said.

The issue of nudity is what Graham said was his greatest concern. “There is nothing good that can come out of children being exposed to public nudity,” Graham said.

Attempts to reach Texas Redneck Games promoter, Oscar Still were unsuccessful.

While much of what happened at the event remains in dispute between the Pools and area residents, Henderson County law enforcement officers issued numerous citations in the area surrounding the ranch.

Henderson County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Pat McWilliams released a statement on Tuesday that said in addition to patrol on the ranch itself, attention was concentrated on the area bounded by North Loop 7, State Highway 19, Farm-to-Market Road 1616, FM 2709, FM 2752, CR 3817, CR 3819, CR 3821 and CR 3822.

McWilliams stated that state and county law enforcement agencies united to address complaints. Twenty-eight Texas Highway Patrol troopers, 12 agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, two officers from the Henderson County Public Nuisance office, two officers from Henderson County Precinct 5 Constable’s office and 32 Sheriff’s Deputies joined to form a multi-agency task force, he said.

From Henderson County Sheriff’s Department reports:

Texas Highway Patrol

• 316 Vehicles Stopped

• 330 Warnings Issued

• 54 Arrests

• 27 Speeding

• 9 Driving While Intoxicated

• 6 Occupant Protection (seat belt violation)

• 2 Possession Marijuana, less than 2 oz.

• 5 Warrants Served

• 4 Criminal Apprehensions

• 2 Motor Vehicle Accidents investigated

• 3 Motorist Assists

TABC

• 32 Citations for Minor in Possession Alcohol

• 1 Arrest Failure to ID

HC Constable 5

• 1 Driving Under Influence/minor

• 4 Traffic citations (no insurance)

HC Public Nuisance

• 2 Citations for Illegal Dumping on roadway

HC Sheriff

• 5 Arrests (Public Intoxication, Possession Marijuana, Assault, DUI, Unlawful carry weapon)

• Complaints (Noise, 2 Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, Theft, Property Damage)

• Search Warrant executed

• Writs of Execution served

• Writs of Garnishment served

• 7 Emergency Medical Service Agency assists

• 1 Investigation of Art 751, HS Code, Mass Gathering Act, including count of people entering event.

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