Montgomery, Alabama's Riverfront Park offers a calming vista for locals to take in the scenery of the state capital on the banks of the Alabama River. On Aug. 5, however, the park was the scene of a now-viral brawl between several people. Just how did it all start, and how did it get to a point where people were being thrown into the river?
What happened at the Harriott II riverboat in Alabama?
It all started when a group of boaters refused to move their pontoon boat from a dock at the park normally reserved for the Harriott II riverboat. The confrontation quickly escalated after three white men began attacking a Black security guard who told them they needed to move their vessel.
Some bystanders, including tourists aboard the Harriott II, called for someone to help him. A group of men quickly swooped in and began attacking the men who came after the security guard; one even used a folding chair as a weapon.
To try to defuse the situation, a Harriott II crew member—now known widely as "Black Aquaman" on social media—jumped in the water and began swimming toward the dock to join in on the action.
Yo this is wild 😭
A group of white men attacked a black security guard after the security asked them to move their pontoon boat so the big Harriot can dock. They refused to & attacked the security guard.
A group of black men seen & went defend him by beating the white men 💯🙌🏾 pic.twitter.com/Qzo3U3Kq1r
— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) August 6, 2023
Who is 'Black Aquaman'?
According to Newsweek, the citizen who swam to the rescue has been identified as a 16-year-old boy named Aaren. His identity was seemingly confirmed by a statement from Makina Lashea, a woman who claimed to be the family publicist.
"In the face of adversity, Aaren selflessly came to the rescue of a fellow colleague, showcasing courage beyond his years," Lashea said. "We are immensely proud of his actions and the values he exemplifies, standing as an inspiration to us all."
Besides Black Aquaman, Aaren has been dubbed several other names including Michael B. Phelps, Tyrone Lochte, and Shaquille O'Gills.
Are the people involved in the Alabama riverboat fight facing charges?
Police eventually intervened to detain those involved in the melee, including the boat owners who originally attacked the security guard. On Aug. 6, Mayor Steven Reed addressed the incident that had since been seen worldwide.
"Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job. Warrants have been signed and justice will be served," Reed said on social media.
"This was an unfortunate incident which never should have occurred," the statement continued. "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."
As of Aug. 7, there are four active warrants for arrest, according to USA Today. The police department told the publication that more may be coming after they review more videos of the incident.[mailerlite_form form_id=3]