3 Men Charged With Assault in Montgomery Brawl

Black worker was attacked after telling white group to move boat
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2023 12:20 AM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2023 3:28 PM CDT
UPDATE Aug 8, 2023 3:28 PM CDT

Three men have been charged in connection with a massive brawl on the Montgomery, Alabama riverfront on Saturday and police say more charges could be on the way. Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert said Tuesday that Richard Roberts, 48; Allen Todd, 23; and Zachery Shipman, 25, have been charged with assault, but police were unable to bring "inciting a riot or racially biased charges at this time," NBC News reports. He said one of the men is already in custody. The brawl erupted after a group of white boaters attacked a Black dockworker who tried to move their pontoon boat to make way for a riverboat. The chief said police also want to talk to Reggie Gray, a Black man seen wielding a fold-up chair in the brawl.

Aug 8, 2023 12:20 AM CDT

A massive brawl erupted along Montgomery, Alabama's riverfront Saturday after a Black man who was reportedly a crew member on a riverboat owned by the city attempted to move a pontoon boat that was parked illegally and blocking the riverboat from docking. A white man who was apparently associated with the pontoon boat ran up to confront the Black man before being joined by three other white men, all of whom began attacking the Black man, AL.com reports. Then, a number of Black people associated with the riverboat ran to the Black worker's defense, including one who jumped into the water and swam to the dock to help, and an all-out brawl began (and was captured on video). At least one person involved was knocked off the pier and into the water, WSFA reports.

Even the arrival of police didn't stop the brawl right away, but eventually, both Black and white assailants started getting handcuffed, the Guardian reports, noting that many were praising the Black people who quickly ran to the worker's defense. While no arrests had yet been made as of Monday night, four arrest warrants have been issued in the incident, and Mayor Steven Reed promised justice would be done. "Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job," he said Sunday. "This was an unfortunate incident which never should have occurred. As our police department investigates these intolerable actions, we should not become desensitized to violence of any kind in our community. Those who choose violent actions will be held accountable by our criminal justice system." (Read more Alabama stories.)

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