"Serve and Protect" versus "Redneck Profiling"

Jun 08, 2014

Trucks Gone Wild came to Brick’s Offroad Park this weekend (June 7-9) and out came the big trucks and even bigger crowds. This is the sixth year that the video company has come to Southeast Missouri to capture trucks doing crazy things like launching into the air at 45 miles per hour to jump a 30 ft slough.

In years past the Highway Patrol monitored the area but this weekend it was described as more aggressive and an all out ticket-trap. One Brick’s fan called it “redneck profiling.”

A group of eight from Brick’s were eating at Colton’s steakhouse Saturday night. The talk bounced from one trailer being stopped for exceeding the maximum height by two inches; to the awesome slough-jump; to calculating the financial impact Brick’s has on the community; to the number of patrolmen in the area; to the Brick’s employee pulled over twice in less than two miles and ticketed for no seatbelt.

On Sunday morning at Heartland Express, Shayn Knupp from Jonesboro, Ill, held up a ticket he received on Friday because he “failed to drive within right lane of highway with two or more lanes in same direction.” Knupp explained he was driving south on his way to the Brick’s park and had just gone through the two-lane construction zone when the “cop started tailing me.” He continued south but was nervous and didn’t change lanes until he saw the exit for Hwy 160 [slightly more than 1 mile in the left lane]. “The cop pulled me over when I got onto Hwy 160 and gave me a ticket” he complained.

On Saturday night, the highway patrol set up a sobriety checkpoint for several hours at Hwy M at Hwy 67 stopping traffic at one of the two main routes to/from Brick’s. A K-9 unit was reported in the Cane Creek Flats area of Hwy 67 and multiple stops were also made along F Hwy (between Hwy 160 and Brick’s Park).

According to Corporal Slaughter of Troop E, Sunday’s supervisor, the Highway Patrol was working overtime this weekend on “a Special Operation” to help keep everyone safe and sound. “We’ve got people coming in from out of state for Bonestock and Brick’s. We want everyone to come and have a good time but we just want everyone to be legal.” He went on to state that they had received several calls from thankful citizens who appreciated their presence in the area because things had gotten out of hand over the years. Slaughter also confirmed that all officers of Troop E were asked to come to the area over the weekend.

When asked why the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers were stopping vehicles with trailers, Slaughter stated “Well, CVOs can stop for routine inspections.” But no explanation was given as to why the CVE taskforce “responsible for enforcing the laws, rules and regulations for the State of Missouri dealing with commercial vehicles” was stopping muddy, non-commercial pickups with trailers.

Brick’s co-owner and founder, Scott Brickell, told SEMO.net “I am glad they are stopping people who are drinking and driving. That is a good thing. But stopping people coming into our park for petty issues is not right.”

It’s estimated that over $300,000 pours into the Poplar Bluff area retail market over this event which draws Mud Truck enthusiasts from 15 different states. According to Brick’s employees, they start checking in customers as early as Wednesday for the three day event that starts on Friday. Holiday Inn reported being at capacity over the weekend. Their parking lot, like all the hotels in town, were filled with trucks and trailers from Friday through Sunday.

While the Highway Patrol’s stated mission to serve and protect aligns with their vision to ensure Missouri is a safe place to live or visit, there is a growing animosity among the Brick’s “visitors” who feel targeted and forced to think twice before heading into the Bluff for dinner or supplies.

One man, stopped for a routine inspection of his trailer by a Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officer, stated “If I was speeding, or drinking or doing something wrong then I’d understand being pulled over, but I didn’t do anything other than leave Brick’s.”

  1. Dave

    It is obvious the State is broke. Their not worried about breaking laws to enforce laws. Remember they do investigate themselves when they are suspected of wrong doing. Corruption and cowboy law enforcement has always been a part of Southeast Missouri. It will never change until the people are tired of wasteful government spending on these petty matters that puts a strain on the taxpayers. In the end we waste all this money to try enforce things that don’t really matter.

  2. jeff

    Unless their is a formal complaint and a search warrant issued they cant do a walk through on private property unless invited. With the amount of underage consumption and weed use a walk through will most likely not be welcomed. As far as the max width being exceeded its not a real big issue on 60 hwy but on secondary roads where you have an 18 or 20 foot roadway it does become a dangerous issue. especially when the driver is not competent to pull an over width load, a large number of drivers do good to keep a single vehicle in their lane.
    Failure to maintain your lane of traffic is probably not nit picking when you are from out of state and your trailer does not meet federal safety standards by not having the basic working required lighting, it shows an intent to knowablely put other motorist in harms way.

  3. jerry

    i see no problem in enforcing laws. but 2 inches on a trailer? driving in the left lane? do a safety inspection if there is a dangerous need why not warn them to fix it…the sthp can ticket you for a dirty license plate. i feel like this was a direct set up. the county and the state should have went in to bricks and did a walk through. minors with alcohol any drug possession. any type ignorance out of hand . check for insurance proper registration . not nit pick

  4. LVan

    This is typical of the out of control police force we now have in the US. I would fight everyone if these tickets and write to your local representatives. We refer to it in Jefferson County as the Brown Coats of Nazism! It is the police state of America.

  5. Gutter guy

    Well folks if you have a complaint take the time to write your elected representatives and senators. That is how you get things done in this system. Flood there offices with formal complaints about this.

    1. Just a guy

      Come on?? Formal complaint about officers doing their job that the state laws require and allow the HP officers to do? Don’t think the representatives and senators would care to listen to them. What we have here is a guy that owns a large plot of land (Bricks) who charges people to come and play in the mud, drink, smoke pot, and basically party. That is all ok as long as it stays on the private property. Then we have the officers that patrol the roadways to ensure that all motorist are complying with the laws that Senators and Representatives pass through our governmental process. So, what is there to complain about? Just because there is a “big party” somewhere doesn’t give people that drive on our roads permission to break the law as they bring and drive their toys to the party.

  6. Dax

    If there were, God forbid, a tragedy involving a grossly overloaded trailer and one of these behemouth toys, the outcry would be, “Where was the Highway Patrol? How did they let this happen.”

  7. Bill

    Theres an old saying, take a rock and throw it into a crowd and the only one who complains is the one it hits. This is very true. Truck drivers get harassed every day. It’s about time some of citizens get a small taste of this too. I give the Missouri vehicle safety enforcement a pat on the back. After all, you so called rednecks can spend thousands of dollars on your mud toys just to pull them on a broke down $500 dollar trailer. If big rigs have to follow all these safety rules, you should too. Once again, thank you Missouri DOT officers and keep up the good work.

  8. Lefty

    Good job HP!!! I live near Bricks and this is the first weekend that they have had a big event that nothing came up missing at my place.

    1. LVan

      Do you have proof of that. Sounds like you’re a true Lib that hates capitalism in the form of a guy running his own business. Typical Lib that can’t stand those damn true Americans that love their big trucks, guns and God, huh?

  9. Just a guy

    GOOD JOB Highway Patrol!! Love seeing officers out there making sure that our roads are safe. Brian, I’m happy you took the time and effort to take pictures and post them.

  10. D

    The owners of bricks called Jefferson City and asked for the hp. They said everybody there was getting out of hand. That information came from a reliable source. I just don’t understand why the people at bricks would do that their cutting their own throats. I won’t be going back to bricks, they want me to pay to get in then call the cops. Verry disappointed at bricks!!!!!

    1. daniel

      The owners of bricks did call jeff city. to complain about the profiling. i am good friends with the owners of bricks. I hope they file a lawsuit, i break my back to be legal going down the road and i got pulled over by an officer who did not even know the legal height requirements in mo. It is profiling! there was a state senator at bricks, because the owners called. he knows of the revenue this event brings to the community and i am sure there wil be follow up to this.

      1. jeff

        If you look at the pictures above you will see a pick up and trailer pulled over hauling two UTVs. Some would say they were profiled, as I said before in this day and age you are not stopped with out legal reason, the liability of a law suit is too high and most MHP like their jobs. On the trailer is a Polaris ranger it is 114 inches in length and a RZR which is 104 inches in width, the legal max width is 102. If I was guessing I bet he didn’t receive a ticket for being over width or for most likely not carrying the minimum legal min liability insurance.

        Retail truck, trailer, and 2 UTVs is close to a hundred grand a little more should have been invested in a longer trailer to haul the load legal.

  11. Has been

    I have went to most of the Trucks Gone wild’s and have went to many weekend events there. If I drink I stay there I do not drive and I have not had any problem’s with the Highway Patrol (been close). I now do not go anymore because I can see problem’s coming from this. I have enough already and I don’t need to add to it. I can go to Outlaw Off Road Park or anywhere. I do think the road block’s for drinking and drugs is a must but just pulling people over because they had a fun weekend is crazy. The Highway Patrol will get there way in the long run. No more bricks and everyone will have to go to the bar or have parties on there land. It will be dried up just like Wappapello. Hate to see it but it is what it is. It was fun but to many stupid people take it all away.

  12. JD

    I wonder if prior events at Bricks have been concurrent with any increase in improper trailering or driving under the influence? Why would we attribute poor motives on the part of the Missouri highway patrol? How many lives would need to be saved to make this attention in and around PB this weekend worth enduring for these poor “rednecks”?

  13. Tink

    I guess that statement would ring true for hispanics, black and asians too Mike when they make that claim. I see Dumbass’s daily and they are from every race not just one.

  14. Mike

    I love it when white people claim to be “profiled.” You’re not being profiled, you’re being pulled over because you’re a dumbass.

    1. Rob

      Absolutely right, I live on F highway and personally witnessed idiots in mud trucks driving by my house hitting the bottle on the way to Bricks as well as out. Also seen many vehicles pulled over and am personally glad because over the past 6 years we see many drunken, speeding dangerous drivers on our road. We also see many more that take the time to secure their loads and create safe driving situations for themselves and others. Not everyone going to Bricks gets pulled over, mostly just the dumbasses.

      1. Rob

        So my logic dictates that when a driver of a motor vehicle is exceeding the posted speed limit, across the middle lane (either with their vehicle or items attached/pulled by said vehicle) with a visible alcoholic beverage in hand, they should be pulled over, inspected and yes, ticketed for all violations. Yes Brian, that was the logic I was attempting to convey. Otherwise, what is the point of law?

  15. jeff

    ” was stopping muddy, non-commercial pickups with trailers.”
    Here is the problem, when a vehicle in Missouri reaches a size (width, height, or weight) it falls under commercial jurisdiction, it dont make a difference why its being operated on the road. You just cant buy an old tractor and lowboy pile three mud trucks on it and drive it on the roadway with no oversight anymore then you can drive an unlicensed and uninsured over width x military vehicle . As with everything it is a few ruining the fun for everyone else. The s10 pickup with 6k plates pulling a trailer with a 9k mud truck or the tractor trailer pulling the 16ft wide load dripping mud and busting windshields on the highway is unsafe and eventually will get the attention of law enforcement.
    As far as the sobriety Check points, Thank you MHP. These are only an issue for people who consider transporting or consuming an intoxicant on a Missouri roadway.

    In this day and time no one is stopped with out reason, I have paid my tickets for transporting an unsecured load (mud falling from the the lowboy) I never felt ‘profiled” just caught doing something I knew was wrong.

    The families that enjoy bricks ought to appreciate the MHPs efforts to make their trip to and from the park a safe one as should the people of southeast Missouri, and if you make a few rednecks with their open containers and trailers with the plates off their dads boat mad, thats a small price..

    1. thomas

      Jeff, seems you are totally out of touch with reality with this statement.(In this day and time no one is stopped with out reason). This day in time has more police abusing power and corruption than ever before. A average everyday person doesn’t stand a chance up against these officers. On the other hand. Ive drive a truck, yes ive been stopped by CVE. There are some with aragonant attitudes, but the most are ok. They have a job to do as well as I do. Just because you aren’t a commercial vehicle doesn’t mean you are legal. CMV go off weight limits. IF you are over weight that breaks the law. Truck drivers go through It everyday they are on road. But no one makes a stink over that.

  16. Bill

    The HP will harass and give out tickets until this event will cease to exist. It’s the same way at Lake Wappappelo.

  17. jerry

    over abuse of authority complaints should be filed