wasaga beach mayor, opp try to put brakes on car rally 'mayhem'

“Apocalyptic” is one word witnesses used to describe the look of Sunday’s rogue car rally in Wasaga Beach, near Barrie, Ontario. “Anarchy” is another. “Scary,” say witnesses. “Out-of-control mayhem.” It looked like something out of Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell or Ozzy Osbourne’s Patient Number 9 music video.

As the mayor of the famous summer fun town rightly said, it’s fortunate no one was seriously hurt or killed as a result of the third straight year of the unpermitted H20i rally of high-performance muscle cars. “The safety of our community was repeatedly put at risk and this is not acceptable,” said Mayor Nina Bifolchi, who called on the province to ensure the Ontario Provincial Police are better positioned next time.

“We call on those in authority within the OPP to review what transpired and take steps to ensure that there is never a repeat of what we witnessed,” she said. “On behalf of our town council and all residents, as well as our many law-abiding visitors, I call on Solicitor-General Michael Kerzner to ensure that the OPP are properly equipped and prepared to ensure that Wasaga Beach is not put at risk again.”

Welcome to Canadians Dumbest Criminals where they video tape themselves committing a crime at #WasagaBeach, hope your 10 seconds of fame was worth it @WB_Media pic.twitter.com/AYqrzgZp27

— Chad Isaac 🏈🍉RiderNation🍉🏈 (@chad_isaac) August 28, 2022

However, in saying that, she said they are “appreciative” of the OPP’s efforts. The restraint the OPP showed is as much the story as the brats and thugs who caused mayhem. It could have been a far different outcome than the windows of two police cruisers being smashed out. “These acts will not be tolerated,” say the OPP. “Those responsible will be held accountable.”

A lot of these unruly characters were caught on video during the chaos in Ontario’s legendary beach town — host of the unwanted and unsanctioned H20i. “The investigation will be exhaustive and detailed,” said Acting OPP Sgt. Martin Hachey.

Part of that is going through security and witness footage and authenticating videos posted online. Even though police have not confirmed social media postings, they say the videos offer an accurate depiction of what the feral behaviour looked like.

Criminal charges could be plentiful.

They were shaken up but are getting pats on the back for not panicking. That it happened at all is a disgrace. That said, police have an open mind in their probe and are not targeting all car owners just because they were there. Rather, police are trying to determine if the vandals were participants or piggybackers who came to cause trouble.

Whoever the were, they had the upper hand, more manpower and horsepower. “There were many examples brought to the attention of the town where laws were being broken and police intervention was not witnessed. This is unacceptable to the residents of Wasaga Beach,” said the mayor.

#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

One police officer suggested these car enthusiasts have their rally somewhere lawfully and where they are wanted. While that is not Wasaga Beach, that could change.

“People have asked why we simply don’t close our municipal borders to rowdy car rally participants, why we don’t just turn these vehicles around,” said the mayor. “We have been advised that this is not a legal option. We have reached out to those associated with the car rally … and asked that they follow our special events process to ensure a safe and fun gathering.”

“However, not once have we ever received a response. Again, I call on the car rally community to consider working with us. An organized and safe gathering is possible here.”

For now, however, the sound and smell of burning rubber is not welcome in Wasaga Beach.

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