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Man, woman turn themselves in to face charges in Alabama riverside brawl

Montgomery police discuss brawl suspects
Montgomery riverfront brawl: Police discuss suspects, charges after fight video goes viral 10:54

Police in Alabama said Thursday that a fourth person has been arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge in connection with a riverside brawl that drew national attention, and an attorney confirmed a fifth arrest, also for a misdemeanor, on Friday.

Major Saba Coleman of the Montgomery Police Department said 21-year-old Mary Todd turned herself in to be arrested. She is the fourth person charged with assaulting a Black riverboat crew co-captain in a riverside brawl in Alabama's capital city.

The melee, where sides largely broke down along racial lines, began Saturday evening when a moored pontoon boat blocked the city-owned Harriott II riverboat from docking in its designated space along the riverfront so more than 200 passengers could disembark.

The riverboat co-captain took another vessel to shore to move the pontoon boat and was attacked by several white people from the private boat, police said. Video showed him being punched and shoved. Riverboat crew members later confronted the pontoon boat party, and more fighting broke out, police said.

A man allegedly seen wielding a folding chair in the brawl, Reggie Ray, 42, turned himself in Friday on a count of misdemeanor disorderly conduct, his attorney, Lee Merritt said.

"Mr. Ray was involuntarily roped into the disorderly conduct initiated by a violent white mob," Merritt said in a statement. "Mr. Ray will continue to participate with the ongoing investigation concerning the same and is committed to be forthcoming about his limited role in the brawl."

Video of the brawl circulated on social media and put a national spotlight on Alabama's capital city.

Christa Owens recorded the tense moments that transpired when a disagreement began over docking space.

Owens, who was aboard the Harriott II Riverboat, said the boat had just completed a dinner cruise and was attempting to dock, only to find a small pontoon boat occupying the designated spot. 

"There were a few guys and a couple of women that were getting off of the boat and seemingly ignoring the captain's request to move," she said. 

A riverboat crew member stepped in and managed to move the pontoon boat several feet, clearing the way for the riverboat to dock, but was then confronted, which quickly led to a physical altercation between the riverboat worker and an irate, shirtless man.  

Owens said the crew member was simply trying to maintain order. 

Mayor Steven Reed of Montgomery said in a statement that police swiftly apprehended "multiple reckless individuals involved in attacking a man who was carrying out his job." 

"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 violence will be held accountable by our criminal justice system," Reed said.

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