It was during lockdown that car rallies in and around the GTA became a particular thorn in the side of Premier Doug Ford, who repeatedly scolded “yahoos” for congregating in the thousands at such events when get-togethers of even small groups of people were strictly prohibited.
Though the days of gathering limits and social distancing are far behind us, it seems that organized meetups for car enthusiasts in the area continue to bring a certain brand of hooliganism that has in the past included pyrotechnics shot from passenger’s side windows and streets literally set alight amid dangerous stunts.
It’s something that residents have long been tired of, but that authorities seem to struggle to get a handle on.
This past weekend, things got out of hand yet again at the third annual “unsanctioned” H20i rally in Wasaga Beach, where private property was destroyed and multiple police cruisers had their windshields brazenly smashed in.
— Chad Isaac 🏈🍉RiderNation🍉🏈 (@chad_isaac) August 28, 2022
Ontario Provincial Police responded to numerous incidents in the small waterfront town over Saturday night into Sunday morning, including a break-in at a local Walmart, damage to that store and a Canadian Tire, a slew of driving offences and criminal mischief.
There was also the aforementioned vandalism of the cop cars — which happened while officers and a police dog were still inside (thankfully, all were uninjured, though one would imagine very taken aback).
Based on a video statement released on social media Sunday afternoon, the force is understandably pissed, and is now conducting a number of investigations in the wake of the chaos in the municipality of 20,000 or so.
These will likely be aided by the fact that some of the crimes were caught on video and shared across social media, showing the face of one person hurling themselves onto a cruiser and wailing away at the window, along with those of many other attendees at the smokey, loud and overall disruptive event.
#HurWOPP investigating numerous incidents in #WasagaBeach last night, including HTA infractions, property damage, mischief and damage to OPP vehicles. These acts will not be tolerated. Those responsible will be held accountable. Have info? Call 1-888-310-1122 or @CrimeSDM ^mjh/gp pic.twitter.com/NMFdqLG7KQ
— OPP Central Region (@OPP_CR) August 28, 2022
“The safety of our community and our officers is our number one priority and the safety of both was jeopardized. We want to make it clear that this behaviour will not be tolerated,” constable Martin Lachey said in the video.
“Rest assured, the OPP will conduct thorough and exhaustive investigations leading to arrests and prosecution of those responsible.”
Anyone with relevant information is being asked to reach out to the Huronia West detachment of the OPP or Crime Stoppers.