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Three White Men Charged With Assault Following Shocking Montgomery Riverboat Brawl

Three White Men Charged With Assault Following Shocking Montgomery Riverboat Brawl

Three man are now facing assault charges after a violent and chaotic brawl broke loose on a riverfront dock in Montgomery, Alabama over the weekend.

A video went viral on Monday showing a massive melee that broke out on Saturday at Riverfront Park in the city. During the brawl, several men were seen throwing an array of punches before a bigger group came together to fight, with at least one person swinging a chair at another person’s head, and several people ending up in the water.

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The fight all began over a dispute about a dockside boat parking spot, according to Montgomery Police Chief Darryl J. Albert. At a news conference on Tuesday, Chief Albert confirmed the fight began after a riverboat crew asked the owners of a small private boat to vacate a parking space reserved for the riverboat.

During the fight, cops says at least three men — Richard Roberts, 48, Allen Todd, 23, and Zachary Shipman, 25 — got into a verbal and then physical dispute with the co-captain of the riverboat, a Black man identified as Damien Pickett. Police say Pickett and another unidentified person — a 16-year-old White teenager — were quickly identified as victims in the ruckus.

The whole situation started at around 7:00 pm local time on Saturday. The Harriott II Riverboat was attempting to dock in its designated spot when a small, private boat was parked there illegally. Riverboat employees asked the boat to move, but according to CNN, the small private boat’s owners responded “with obscene gestures, curse words and taunting.”

Pickett was then sent to the dock in a smaller boat to try to convince the private boat to move. When he got there, Roberts, Todd, Shipman, and other people allegedly involved with the small boat confronted Pickett “in a very hostile manner,” according to the police chief.

Chief Albert said:

“As the co-captain approached the dock and attempted to peacefully move the boat over just enough so that the Harriott could park, the owners of the boat confronted him in a very hostile manner. There were words exchanged, and then it turned into a fist encounter… the co-captain was doing his job.”

And at Tuesday’s press conference, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed added:

“[The brawl] was brought on by reckless individuals who did not use good judgment and caused an event that certainly was avoidable. That said, the police department reacted very swiftly and very intentionally to address the matter, as did other citizens in the community.”

As the fight escalated, more people in the surrounding area got into the action. At least one person on board the riverboat jumped into the water to join the fight, and several more ran down from the dock. At one point, a Black man can be seen on camera swinging a chair at several individuals as the melee kept growing.

In minutes, the Montgomery Police Department responded and detained multiple people. Now, the three aforementioned men are facing third-degree assault charges. In the state of Alabama, that charge is a Class A misdemeanor that carries with it the potential penalty of up to a year in prison.

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According to Chief Albert, one of the aforementioned three alleged assailants has already surrendered to police custody. He said the other two are expected to be in police custody soon. Per CNN, he did not specific which man has already reported to the police.

During his press scrum, Chief Albert also said the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the local office of the FBI were all consulted on the charges. The discussion of adding a hate charge addendum to the docket was a possibility, too, but Chief Albert says the actions shown on video “did not meet the criteria” for that. However, he did say that several more charges against several other individuals are likely in the near future.

You can see the brawl itself (below):

And more from the Montgomery PD’s press conference confirming the most recent updates to their investigation:

Wow. Just… wow.

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If you’re experiencing emotional distress related to incidents of mass violence, you can call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or visit their website at for more resources.

[Image via NBC News/YouTube]

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Aug 08, 2023 16:55pm PDT