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Home News Montgomery police issue warrants after massive brawl on Alabama riverfront dock

Montgomery police issue warrants after massive brawl on Alabama riverfront dock

by nytime
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Authorities issued multiple arrest warrants after footage showed a chaotic brawl breaking out on a popular riverfront dock in Montgomery, Alabama, Saturday after a man was pushed to the ground and punched by multiple people.

Videos of the incident show a Black man, who a witness described to CNN as an employee, engaging with a group of White men on the dock, who then get physical and start hitting him. Footage of the incident went viral online as it escalated into a massive brawl with punches being thrown, people being hit with chairs and at least one person being tossed into the water during the clash.

After police were called to the scene, they found “a large group of subjects engaged in a physical altercation. Several subjects have been detained and charges are pending,” according to a news release from the police department. Officials plan to hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon to offer more information on the incident.

Police “acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job,” said Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed in a post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

Lauren Spivey, who witnessed the brawl, told CNN it all started with a request to move a boat. She said the vessel was blocking the large Harriott II Riverboat from being able to dock near Riverfront Park, a waterfront area that features a splash pad and hosts concerts and other community activities.

Spivey said the riverboat, which was filled with guests, had been waiting for “like 30 to 45 minutes and they did not want to touch these people’s boat, but nobody came forward.”

The worker went over to the small boat and started untying the vessel and a man, who appeared to be White, ran over, Spivey said.

Videos of the interaction show two men who appeared to be White then came over to the dock and engaged in what looked like a heated argument.

“The gentleman, ran down there, the White guy and … that’s when it escalated,” said Spivey, explaining the employee was telling the man he needed to move the boat to make room for the large riverboat.

One of the men who was part of the group then ran up and pushed the employee and then appeared to throw a punch, the footage shows. Several other men in the group, who appeared linked to the small boat, then jumped on the worker and also started punching the worker while he was on the ground, according to the video.

As the fight continued, others watching the melee can be seen in videos running down toward the fight and attempting to pull the group off the employee. In one portion of the video, a man is seen swimming to the dock to help.

Spivey said after the fight was broken up, the boat and those who fought with the worker didn’t leave the area.

“They got back on their little boats down there like nothing happened, like nothing happened. And the whole time the Harriott is still slowly coming in sideways so they can dock,” Spivey said.

Spivey said she was taken aback by what she described as the “entitlement” shown by the group in the smaller boat.

“They assaulted him and got back on their boat and didn’t try to leave,” Spivey told CNN.

A second, larger brawl then broke out after the Harriott II Riverboat was able to dock and those aboard, many of whom watched the clash, ran over to the boaters, videos show.

“I knew once that boat hit that dock … all hell was gonna break loose,” she told CNN.

Footage shows a group made up of what appeared to be riverboat workers hopping off the riverboat and running towards the smaller boat. The workers appear to pause and say something to the people on the boat, then the video shows one of the men from the riverboat punching one of the men from the smaller boat.

A second brawl gets underway. This time the Black boat workers are seen punching and beating the group on the small boat, the video shows.

The fight moves down the dock and grows. Videos of the chaos show punches being thrown between the groups and at least one person being knocked into the water.

Another video of the scene just down the pier where the riverboat docked shows a man, who appears to be White, getting hit over the head with a white folding chair at least six times and a woman, who also appears to be White, getting kicked and punched before she, too, was hit over the head with the chair. Police officers are then seen in the footage breaking up the altercation.

The Montgomery Police Department said they were called to the area around 7 p.m. Journalists from CNN affiliate WSFA at the scene “saw people in handcuffs,” the station reported.

Reed called the incident unfortunate and urged people not to become desensitized to violence in the community in a statement posted on “X” Sunday night.

“Those who choose violence will be held accountable by our criminal justice system,” the mayor said in a statement.

“There are 4 active warrants at this time and there’s a possibility more will follow after the review of additional video,” Maj. Saba Coleman, a spokesperson for Montgomery police, told CNN in an email.

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