The president of a community group that opposes the closure of Rollover Pass was arrested Monday as construction crews began to put fences around the popular fishing spot

Ted Vega, 67, of Gilchrist, was charged Monday afternoon with criminal trespassing, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said.

Vega was arrested after refusing to leave the pass as the area was being fenced, Trochesset said.

Galveston County and the Texas General Land Office plan to fill in the manmade pass and turn it into a public park. Filling in the pass is necessary to prevent erosion on Gulf beaches near the pass, and to reduce silting in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, state officials have said.

Vega is the president of the Gilchrist Community Association, a nonprofit that has opposed the closure for years. The group argues the pass is a valuable, and beloved, Texas fishing destination, and rejects the government’s rationale for closing it.

The community association has tried and failed to block eminent domain proceedings and the start of construction, but has vowed to continue opposing the closure.

Last month, the land office announced the work of filling in the pass would start by the end of September. That began Monday morning with crews putting up chainlink fences and asking people fishing at the site to leave.

Fishing at the pass will not be allowed while construction is underway and people who enter the construction area without permission will be arrested, Trochesset said. Deputies will be detailed to the pass throughout the duration of the construction project, he said.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; or on Twitter @johnwferguson.


(5) comments

Doug Sivyer

He's a feisty defiant old bird a?

Bailey Jones


Gary Miller

The pass was opened to solve critical problems. Returning to the problems will oc cure when the pass is closed. Opening was a mistake, closing is a mistake and taxpayers pay for both mistakes.

James Lippert

There are only a few good reasons to be in jail. But sticking to your guns and demanding your rights is definitely one of them. Hats off to Mr. Vega!

Wayne Holt

From Wikipedia: "Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences , and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice."

Where can I get my FREE THE ROLLOVER PASS 1 tee shirt?

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