A violent fight broke out at a riverfront park in Alabama, USA, on Saturday, August 7, 2023, involving dozens of people who exchanged punches, pulled hair, and used chairs as weapons. The incident was captured on camera and the videos went viral on social media. The police arrested several people in connection with the violence, which reportedly started over a pontoon boat blocking a dock space.
A Dock Worker Attacked by a Group of Boatmen
According to witnesses, the fight began when a group of boatmen refused to move their pontoon boat to make way for a riverboat to dock at Montgomery Riverfront Park. A dock worker approached them and asked them to move, but they attacked him instead. One video shows a shirtless man running up and punching the dock worker in the face, followed by two more men joining in to assault him. The dock worker tried to defend himself, but was outnumbered by the attackers.
A woman who was watching from the riverboat can be heard screaming for help and urging others to assist the employee. Another man rushed down a ramp to the dock and jumped into the river to come to the worker’s defense. The fight momentarily subsided as several others arrived at the dock to support the dock staffer.
The Fight Escalates as More People Join In
However, the situation escalated quickly as another group of people approached the pontoon boat and confronted the boatmen. A second video shows punches being thrown, hair being pulled, and a woman being thrown into the water. The brawl involved both men and women from both sides, who did not seem to care about the presence of children or police officers nearby.
In the midst of the chaos, a man was seen using a folding chair to strike both a man and a woman from the group of pontoon boaters. He was quickly apprehended by the police, who also arrested several others involved in the incident. The police said that they issued four active warrants and were reviewing more videos posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to identify more suspects.
The Mayor Condemns the Violence and Promises Justice
The mayor of Montgomery, Steven Reed, issued a statement condemning the violence and promising justice for the victim. He said that the police acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job. He added that warrants were being signed and justice would be served.
He also said that this was an unfortunate incident that never should have occurred and that he did not want the community to become desensitized to violence of any kind. He warned that those who choose violent actions would be held accountable by the criminal justice system.
The incident has sparked outrage and concern among many people who witnessed or watched the videos of the fight. Some have compared it to a WWE-style mayhem, while others have called it a hate crime against the Black dock worker. Some have also questioned the security measures at the park and demanded more protection for the workers and visitors.