After the Montgomery riverfront brawl incident gained national attention, Reggie Ray, a fifth suspect, was arrested and turned himself in on Friday by Montgomery police. He had been requested to surrender by law enforcement within days of the incident.
Ray, who was captured on video hitting someone with a folding chair, is currently being held in the Montgomery Municipal Jail for misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Ray is the latest suspect to be arrested, along with Mary Todd, 21, who turned herself in on Thursday, Allen Todd and Zachery Shipman, 25, who surrendered on Wednesday, and Richard Roberts, 48, who handed himself in Tuesday. He is not facing any charges related to misdemeanor third-degree assault at this point, but more suspects and charges are still being considered.
Prior to Ray’s arrest, Mayor of Montgomery, Steven Reed, released a statement thanking the Montgomery Police Department, Harriott II Crew, and witnesses for their diligence and dedication. He also highlighted that the four suspects who were arrested earlier had come from outside the city to create confusion and divide people.
According to a statement from the city on Friday afternoon, MPD investigators examined the videos of the fights and conducted extensive interviews with witnesses and the victim, Dameion Pickett.
The city’s statement confirmed that a former person of interest in the boat dispute has been released from jail and is cooperating with the investigation.
Despite not being named, the man seen in the video wearing a white shirt, blue hat, and sunglasses around his neck was actually trying to calm the situation down, as per Pickett’s testimony.
The city is still requesting that individuals with more video send them to [email protected].
According to MPD, the incident occurred at the dock along the Alabama River shortly before 7 p.m. on Saturday when units responded to a disturbance in the 200 block of Coosa Street. Officers were confronted by dozens of individuals who had engaged in armed activity.
A viewer of a four-minute, 30-second video shared with WSFA 12 News recorded the moments leading up to the altercation and the initial fight that quickly turned violent.
A fight broke out as a passenger aboard the Harriott II Riverboat was being recorded.
Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert announced during a press conference on Tuesday that the incident began with private boat owners who refused to relocate their boat from the Harriot II Riverboat dock. The captain attempted to move their vessel using petty officers’ names for 45 minutes, but they continued to yell obscenities at the bar and refused until the police arrived.
Later, the co-captain boarded a smaller boat and went to the dock in an effort to persuade the owners of the vessel to relocate, which ultimately led to violence.
According to court documents cited by CNN, a witness claimed that racist language was used before the fight began. He reportedly told police that the slur was said as the co-captain was attempting to move the pontoon boat from the Harriott II’s docking spot.
The slurs are believed to have been made by an undisclosed source.
Albert stated that MPD did not consider race to be a contributing factor in the fight and instead sought input from state and federal partners who believed there was inadequate information to classify the incident as if it were viewed as an hate crime.
On Friday, Mayor Reed referred to the investigation as “fluid” and clarified that the FBI has not yet classified these attacks as a hate crime.
Despite my confidence in the justice system and its integrity as a former judge, I am not so convinced as mayor of Montgomery that this is committing ‘the most morally questionable crime in our city which cannot go unpunished’.
The police chief stated during the Tuesday briefing that although all charges are misdemeanors, they may be subject to change.
Tuesday saw Albert explain that the videos were not a comprehensive collection, and instead, police officers and detectives had to decipher witness statements before applying charges.
Earlier, the Braw coverage in Montclair County had already been established.
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