Fifth person charged in Montgomery boat dock brawl is man who wielded chair, police say
A fifth person involved in the brawl along the Montgomery, Alabama, riverfront last weekend has turned himself in, police said Friday.
Reggie Ray, 42, was being held in the city jail, according to a news release from the Montgomery Police Department.
Police have confirmed Ray is the man seen swinging a chair in the widely circulated video of the fight.
“Mr. Ray was involuntarily roped into the disorderly conduct initiated by a violent white mob,” Lee Merritt, his civil attorney, said in a statement to CNN after Ray turned himself in on Friday. “Mr. Ray will continue to participate with the ongoing investigation concerning the same and is committed to being forthcoming about his limited role in the brawl.”
Ray, who is Black, was charged with one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in the August 5 incident, court records show.
Police Chief Darryl Albert, at a press conference on Tuesday, asked the man seen wielding the chair to contact police. An arrest warrant was issued for Ray on Wednesday.
Earlier, Mary Todd, 21, was charged with third-degree assault and was being held Thursday in Montgomery’s city jail, police said.
Also charged were Richard Roberts, 48, who faces two counts of third-degree assault, and Allen Todd, 23, and Zachery Shipman, 25, who face a count each of third-degree assault, Albert has said. They were taken into custody earlier this week.
All four, who are White, are scheduled to be arraigned on September 1.
The fight between those charged, identified by authorities as White, and a Black co-captain of a riverboat, Dameion Pickett, stemmed from a dispute over a dockside parking spot, authorities said. It quickly escalated into a widespread brawl when a group of bystanders joined the fray. According to one witness, a racial slur was used.
The incident, which was caught on video and captured national attention, largely broke down along racial lines in a city with both a fraught history of racial violence and a proud place in the civil rights movement.
Investigators looked into whether there was enough evidence to charge for a hate crime or inciting a riot, but the actions did not meet the criteria, police said.
Ray’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday and his arraignment is scheduled for September 1.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect that police have confirmed that Reggie Ray is the man swinging the chair and that Lee Merritt is the civil attorney for Ray.
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