Alabama Riverboat Brawl Leaves Three in Custody

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A brawl at a boat dock in Montgomery, Alabama, resulted in three individuals being taken into custody and several others questioned by authorities. The incident occurred when an argument escalated into a physical altercation between a Black co-captain of a local riverboat and white private boaters who were blocking the riverboat’s path as it attempted to dock.

Two of the suspects, Allen Todd (23) and Zachary Shipman (25), turned themselves in on Wednesday, while Richard Roberts (48) surrendered on Tuesday, according to Major Saba Coleman of the Montgomery Police Department. All three men are owners of the small private boat that obstructed the Harriott II Riverboat. Video footage of the brawl shows the co-captain of the Harriott II being physically attacked by the private boat owners after he attempted to move their boat.

Richard Roberts has been charged with two counts of third-degree assault, while Allen Todd and Zachary Shipman each face one count of the same charge, as confirmed by the police.

The incident gained attention after a viral video showed a small private pontoon boat blocking the Harriott II riverboat from reaching a disembarkment ramp. The co-captain of the Harriott II, Damien Pickett, untied the boat, leading to the physical altercation. Additional individuals joined the brawl, with several members of the Harriott II attempting to intervene and assist Pickett.

Harriott II captain Jim Kittrell stated that he had repeatedly asked the owners of the private boat to move it, but they refused. Kittrell eventually called law enforcement after the group responded with obscene comments and gestures. Pickett untied the boat while the group was away, a common practice in the boating community. However, upon their return, the group physically attacked Pickett.

Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert revealed that there were racially motivated comments made towards the Harriott II before the altercation. Thirteen individuals were initially detained and questioned but were subsequently released.

Despite claims of racial motivation, authorities, after consulting with the local office of the FBI, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, determined that the white men involved would not be charged with a hate crime or inciting a riot.

The Harriott II riverboat had 227 passengers on board at the time of the incident. The riverboat offers tours, dinner, dancing, and live entertainment as it sails along the Alabama River.

Police have expressed interest in speaking with Reggie Gray, a 42-year-old Black man, regarding the incident.


Ryan Scott
Author: Ryan Scott

Just a guy

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