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Arrest warrants issued for 3 men in Montgomery, Ala., riverfront brawl

Alabama officials have issued arrest warrants for three men for their alleged roles in the massive brawl along the riverfront dock in Montgomery on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Montgomery Police Department/Facebook
Alabama officials have issued arrest warrants for three men for their alleged roles in the massive brawl along the riverfront dock in Montgomery on Saturday. Photo courtesy of Montgomery Police Department/Facebook

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- Alabama officials have issued arrest warrants for three men for their alleged roles in the massive brawl along the riverfront dock in Montgomery on Saturday.

The scrum broke out Saturday after a dispute over a space at the dock, Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert said at a news conference live-streamed by the department.

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Bystanders took video footage of the incident from multiple angles, making the physical fight go viral with memes, re-enactments and even a song published on social media. Much of the public commentary on social media has focused on how the fight largely was divided along racial lines, with a group of White men attacking a Black worker and his colleagues.

Albert said a riverboat named Harriet II was trying to moor in its assigned space at the dock, which was taken up by another much smaller boat.

The Harriet II is described by the city's website as a historic riverboat from the 1800s that offers dinner, dancing and live entertainment. It had 227 passengers on board at the time.

The crew members of the Harriet II waited for 45 minutes to dock before trying to contact the owners of the private boat in its space.

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The Harriet II crew members tried to get the men at the dock to move their vessel by using loudspeakers, but they were met with "gestures, curse words and taunting," Albert said.

Eventually, Damien Pickett -- a co-captain of the Harriott II -- crossed the river on a smaller boat to speak to the White men at the dock. Pickett, who is Black, was attacked when he approached.

After the fight broke out, Pickett's crew members jumped to his defense and, during the incident, a Black bystander was seen smacking one of the White men with a folding chair. Police said that man, identified as 42-year-old Reggie Gray, is also wanted for questioning.

The three men who were sought by the police are 48-year-old Richard Roberts, charged with two counts of third-degree assault, and 23-year-old Allen Todd and 25-year-old Zachary Shipman, who were each charged with one count of third-degree assault.

Albert said that one of the men has turned himself in but did not clarify which of the men.

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