By Jovonne Ledet
The boat co-captain who was attacked by a group of white people in a viral brawl at Montgomery’s riverfront is now facing charges in connection to the incident.
According to online court records, Harriott II co-captain Damien Pickett was charged with third-degree assault, per WSFA. The charges reportedly stem from Pickett’s involvement in an August fight with other defendants over a boat parking spot.
Viral video of the incident showed the other defendants, including Zachary Shipman, punching and kicking Pickett. However, in a new complaint obtained by CNN, Shipman alleged that he was merely defending himself during the viral brawl. Shipman also claimed he suffered a bruised cheekbone after Pickett allegedly punched him.
The brawl unfolded after Pickett moved a pontoon boat that was illegally parked in the Hariott ll’s docking location. Chaos ensued after Pickett moved the boat.
Videos show the brawl began with Pickett being attacked by a white assailant. Pickett and the assailant appeared to fight on the dock before two more white men joined in on the brawl.
Onlookers later jumped to the Pickett’s defense, with one person even swimming up to the dock to fight back against the assailants.
Arrest warrants were initially issued for three white men — 48-year-old Richard Roberts, 23-year-old Allen Todd, and 25-year-old Zachary Shipman — all of whom came from the private pontoon boat. Mary Todd and Reggie Ray, who wielded a folding chair as a weapon in defense of Pickett, are also facing charges in connection to the brawl.
Shipman was charged with assaulting Pickett. He has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial later this month along with Todd and Ray.