Two men turn themselves in after the waterfront brawl in Alabama went viral. What happened?

Two more men turned themselves in to police and were charged with misdemeanor assault following a brawl that broke out at the Montgomery Riverfront in Alabama on Aug. 5.

Videos that went viral on social media showed a group of white men attacking a Black dockworker. The footage caused an outcry, with the Montgomery mayor addressing the altercation and police issuing arrest warrants.

Allen Todd, 23, and Zachary Shipman, 25, turned themselves in to police on Aug. 9 and have been charged with one misdemeanor count of assault in the third degree, a spokesperson for the Montgomery Police Department said.

Todd and Shipman are two of three men facing misdemeanor assault charges as of Aug. 8, police said in a press conference, and they expected more charges were on the way.

Montgomery Police Chief Darryl J. Albert said Richard Roberts, 48, has also been charged in the incident. Roberts was already in custody, police said.

So what exactly happened? Read on for a full explanation of this now-viral incident.

What happened at the Montgomery Riverfront

A large brawl broke out Saturday, Aug. 5, shortly before 7 p.m. at the Alabama capital after a worker attempted to clear a dock along the river so that the Harriott II Riverboat could dock, witnesses told NBC News. The brawl was fueled by alcohol and adrenaline, witnesses also said.

When a group of rowdy boaters refused to move their pontoon at the Montgomery Riverfront, they attacked the dock worker when he untied the boat to make way for the riverboat, witnesses said.

In video shared with NBC News, after a group of what appears to be white men ran along the dock to attack the worker, who is Black, more people joined in and appeared to defend the worker. Other footage shared with NBC News shows people punching and shoving one another, with one person falling into the water as police struggled to contain the chaos.

The Riverfront is a popular destination with a park, stadium, amphitheater and riverboat.

What witnesses say about the brawl

Christa Owen told NBC News she was aboard the Harriott II with her husband and daughter when the brawl broke out.

“What was hard is we were all on the boat and witnessing our poor crewman being attacked by these guys, and we couldn’t do anything about it,” Owen said.

“It was really difficult to watch, and, like I said, we felt helpless, because we were forced to be spectators,” Owen added.

Owen was among those who recorded the altercations, explaining that it was “inexcusable behavior.”

Additionally, Leslie Mawhorter also on Harriott II, added: “They just didn’t think the rules applied to them. It was so avoidable. This never had to have happened. Everything just spiraled from there.”

“I knew something was going to go down, because their attitude was just, ‘You can’t tell us what to do.’ They were going to be confrontational regardless of who you were,” Mawhorter continued.

What police say about the fight

Albert, in a news conference on Aug. 8, confirmed the witness accounts of the incident: a group of private white boaters had attacked a Black dockworker, identified as Damien Pickett.

He had been trying to move their pontoon to make way for the riverboat.

As passengers aboard the riverboat — more than 200 — waited at least 30 minutes, Pickett tried to get the rowdy private boaters to move. Several members of the private pontoon group then attacked Pickett, Albert said.

Albert added that police arrived on the scene at 7:18 p.m. local time — about 18 minutes after the riverboat captain had called. He said 13 people were detained, questioned and then released.

Have police made any arrests?

As of Aug. 8, three men are facing misdemeanor assault charges, according to Albert: Richard Roberts, 48; Allen Todd, 23; and Zachary Shipman, 25.

Albert said in a press conference that one of the men was already in custody. The other two turned themselves in on Aug. 9.

“There was no need for this event to take the path it did,” Albert told reporters. “The people of Montgomery, we’re better than that. We’re a fun city, and we don’t want this type of activity to shed a dark eye on what this city’s all about.”

He added that police are looking to speak with a 42-year-old Black man named Reggie Gray, who was seen in the social media videos wielding a folding chair in the fight.

Was the fight racially motivated?

In the press conference on Aug. 8, Albert said investigators do not believe the incident was racially motivated.

He said that the local FBI and district attorney’s offices are involved in the ongoing investigation.

“I don’t think you can judge any community by any one incident. I think it’s important for us to address this as an isolated incident, one that was avoidable,” Albert said. “One that was brought on by individuals who chose the wrong path of action.”

What the mayor of Montgomery said about the altercation

On Sunday, Aug. 6, Mayor Steven L. Reed released a statement saying that “justice will be served” after individuals attacked “a man who was doing his job.”

“Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job. Warrants have been signed and justice will be served,” the statement posted on social media read. “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,” the statement concluded.

Reed shared how he felt about the incident during a press conference on Aug. 7.

“I feel like it’s an unfortunate incident. Our statement that we put out the other day is that it’s something that shouldn’t have happened and it’s something that we’re investigating right now,” Reed said. “We’ll continue to go through that process before we take any additional steps.”

When asked if Reed thought the incident was racially charged, he said the brawl is still under investigation, and that authorities are “investigating all angles.”

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