HomeTop StoriesMontgomery police issue search warrants after mass brawl on Alabama riverbank

Montgomery police issue search warrants after mass brawl on Alabama riverbank

Authorities have issued multiple arrest warrants after footage showed a chaotic brawl erupting Saturday at a popular riverfront dock in Montgomery, Alabama, after a man was pushed to the ground and beaten by several people.

Video of the incident shows a black man, whom a witness described to CNN as an employee, talking to a group of white men on the wharf, who then get physical and begin beating him. Footage of the incident went viral online as it escalated into a mass brawl with punches, people being beaten with chairs and at least one person thrown into the water during the collision.

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,” said a police press release. Officials plan to hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide more information about the incident.

Police “acted quickly to detain several reckless individuals for assaulting a man who was doing his job,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said in a post on 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 ship prevented the large Harriott II Riverboat from docking near Riverfront Park, a waterfront area with a splash pad and where concerts and other community activities take place.

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Spivey said the riverboat, which was filled with guests, had been “waiting about 30 to 45 minutes and they wouldn’t touch these people’s boat, but no one came forward.”

The worker went to the small boat and started untying the ship and a man, who appeared to be a white man, ran up to him, Spivey said.

Videos of the interaction show two men who appeared to be white, then came to the wharf and engaged in what appeared to be a heated argument.

“The gentleman, ran over there, the white man and… that’s when it escalated,” Spivey said, explaining that the employee told the man to move the boat to make room for the large riverboat.

One of the men who was part of the group then ran towards the employee and then punched him, as can be seen in the images. Several other men in the group, who appeared to be attached to the small boat, then jumped on the worker and also began beating the worker as he lay on the ground, according to the video.

As the fight continued, others watching the fight can be seen in videos running into the fight and trying to pull the group off the worker. Part of the video shows a man swimming to the dock to help.

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Spivey said that after the fight broke down, the boat and those fighting with the worker did not leave the area.

“They got down there in their little boats as if nothing had happened, as if nothing had happened. And all the while the Harriott is still slowly coming in sideways so they can dock,” Spivey said.

Spivey said she was surprised by what she described as the group’s “right” in the smaller boat.

“They attacked him and got back on their boat and tried not to leave,” Spivey told CNN.

A second, larger brawl then broke out after the Harriott II Riverboat was able to dock and those on board, many of whom watched the collision, ran toward the boatmen, videos show.

“I knew that as soon as that boat hit that dock… all hell would break loose,” she told CNN.

Footage shows a group made up of what appear to be riverboat workers jumping off the riverboat and running to the smaller boat. The workers appear to pause and say something to the people on the boat, after which the video shows one of the men from the riverboat beating one of the men from the smaller boat.

A second brawl ensues. This time, we see the black boat workers beating and beating the group on the small boat, the video shows.

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The fight goes off 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 along the pier where the riverboat docked shows a man, who appears to be white, being hit on the head at least six times with a white folding chair and a woman, who also appears to be white, being kicked and beaten before she too was hit on the head with the chair. Police officers can then be seen in the footage breaking up the altercation.

Montgomery police 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 community violence in a statement on Sunday evening “X”.

“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 is a possibility that more will follow after the review of additional videos,” Major Saba Coleman, a spokesman for the Montgomery Police Department, told CNN in an email.

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