Police in Alabama today announced charges against three individuals for their role in the Montgomery Riverboat Brawl on Saturday that went viral.
Darryl Albert, chief of the Montgomery Police Department, held a press conference earlier today revealing the details.
The three men were all charged with assault in the 3rd degree. Richard Roberts, a 48-year-old white male, who has two outstanding warrants on him; and Allen Todd, a 23-year-old white male, and Zachary Shipman, 25 year-old white male, with one warrant each.
It appeared that the owner of Vasser’s Mini Mart, who has the same last name as one of the suspects, but denied he was involved, was not charged, despite social media accusations.
Albert said there’d been confusion in finding the suspects at first because they had multiple addresses in both Selma and Orange Beach.
Albert said that one defendant had already turned himself into the Selma Police Department and that contact had been made with the other two defendants, who had made plans to turn themselves into the Selma Police Department within the hour.
Albert described how the confrontation started, which was documented in a slew of social media videos, something he acknowledged as critical for the police department in reconstructing exactly what went down.
A private boat, he said, was blocking the Harriott II riverboat from safely docking.
“The captain stayed away from the dock for 40-45 minutes,” Albert said, attempting to contact the operators of the boat over a PA system. But the operators responded with obscenities and taunting, and a “confrontation ensued.”
Police officers were stationed nearby for a summer event, and were on the scene quickly. The first call to the police came at 7pm from the captain of the Harriot II. At 7:18, Albert said, the first units arrived on the scene.
Police detained 13 individuals, according to Albert, who were brought back to police headquarters for questioning and interviews. The interviews lasted for several hours.
Albert said that Montgomery police are looking to talk with Reggie Grey, a 42-year-old black male who was seen on social media videos wielding a folding chair.
The police chief said the Montgomery police had worked with local police departments as well as the FBI to determine who sort of charges the incident met.
They explored whether hate crime charges could be levied and whether the behavior of the men on the dock could be seen as an incitement to riot.
“This investigation is ongoing and more charges are likely,” Albert said, asking the public to send any more videos documenting the incident to [email protected].
“In closing I want to appeal to the public,” Albert said. “This incident is isolated.”
“Make no mistake,” he said. “We are all paying attention to what’s going on and in terms of any possible retaliatory acts, don’t come here with it, we’re not going to tolerate it … we’re not going to allow this type of our behavior in this city.”
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*First Published: Aug 8, 2023, 2:12 pm CDT