At least four people facing arrest for violent brawl on Alabama riverfront as new video emerges

Brawl is believed to have started over a disagreement over where some boats were parked

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 08 August 2023 15:56 BST
Comments
Wild brawl breaks out on Alabama dock among dozens of people in caught-on-video, WWE-style mayhem
Leer en Español

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Several people are facing arrest in connection with a massive brawl at a waterfront park in Montgomery, Alabama - as a new video emerged apparently showing how it started.

Allegedly what prompted the fight was a Black dock worker asking a group to move their pontoon boat so a large riverboat could dock there. The video reveals how widespread and violent the brawl was, with people seeming to span the length of the dock, and punches being thrown left and right. The attack seemed to be racially divided.

“That guy in the white shirt … he got off our ship to go over there to move that black pontoon boat on his own,” says a woman filming the clip. “Because those guys who parked there were told not to leave it there — and they left it there. So he’s just pushing it off,” she added. “Took matters into his own hands. I love it.”

A police spokesperson told The Independent that there were four active arrest warrants as of Monday morning and that “there’s a possibility more will follow after the review of additional video”.

Although those arrested have not been identified and the specific charges have not been announced, social media posts alleged that Chase Shipman, the owner of Vasser’s Mini-Mart in Selma, was involved, but this has not been verified. 

Mr Shipman denied the allegation in a social media post Sunday, which has since been taken down.

According to the Selma-Times Journal, the post read: “I do not condone what happened. I tried to stop it and realized that I could not, so I tried to get away. There is a video of me being the first to run away because what was happening was wrong and I did not want to be a part of it… No charges were filed against me because I was not involved. I know it was wrong and it should have never happened.”

The Montgomery Police Department responded to a disturbance at the 200 block of Coosa Street around 7pm on Saturday, where they found a large group of people physically fighting one another on the dock.

A video posted on Twitter by Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon shows a white man coming up to a Black man – believed to be a dock worker – and punching him.

More people are then seen piling on the alleged dock worker, hitting and punching him.

The video also captures one Black teen diving into the water and swimming toward the dock, seemingly to help the worker. That swimmer has been identified as Aaren, a 16-year-old boat worker, AL.com reported. A publicist wrote a statement about Aaren on Facebook: “In the face of adversity, Aaren selflessly came to the rescue of a fellow colleague, showcasing courage beyond his years.”

But, by the time he reaches the dock, the fight appears to be over, with the dock worker seen walking away from the scene.

The brawl started over “a disagreement over where some boats were parked and the people on those boats attacking a dock worker,” Mr Moon tweeted.

“All of it was disgusting,” he added.

A brawl broke out on a Montgomery riverfront
A brawl broke out on a Montgomery riverfront (Josh Moon / Twitter)

However, the brawl didn’t end at the end of that footage.

Mr Moon posted subsequent footage of even more people attacking each other.

“Here’s part of what happened after the riverboat docked and the other workers and people on the boat were able to get to the fight,” the journalist wrote.

The footage captured one man using a foldable chair to whack people over the head.

Montgomery Police then arrived on the scene and handcuffed several people involved in the altercation.

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed released a statement in the wake of the brawl, saying that officers detained “several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job”.

“Warrants are being signed and justice will be served,” he added.

“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.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in