Two Dallas County men found guilty in riverfront brawl

Published 3:04 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Two Dallas County men involved in an August riverfront brawl pleaded guilty to harassment in a Montgomery Municipal courtroom Friday. 

Zachery “Chase” Shipman, 25, and Allen Todd, 23, both of Selma, pleaded guilty to harassment as part of a plea deal negotiated from initial charges of third-degree assault. The charges stemmed from the Aug. 5 brawl during which the defendants allegedly attacked Harriott II riverboat co-captain Dameion Pickett.

Judge Angela Starr, who presided over the case, said Shipman and Todd must each serve 100 community hours, pay a $100 fine and court costs, and attend an anger management class. Shipman will perform community service in Dallas County, while Todd will complete community service in Baldwin County. 

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A third-degree assault charge filed by Shipman against Pickett on Oct. 25 was also dropped by the City of Montgomery Friday. The Montgomery Police Department said Pickett was a victim in the assaults.

The altercation occurred at Montgomery’s Riverfront Park when the Harriott II riverboat was returning from a two-hour cruise and attempted to dock. The boat’s crew found the defendants’ privately owned pontoon boat moored in the riverboat’s slip. Pickett went ashore to ask the owners to relocate after attempts to contact boat owners via a PA (public announcement) system failed.

A brawl erupted on the dock, drawing national attention when videos captured by witnesses went viral across social media. The footage showed Pickett being repeatedly struck by the group of boaters as the riverboat’s 227 passengers looked on. Several bystanders joined the fray, rushing to Pickett’s defense.

Assault charges were initially filed by the City of Montgomery in August against Shipman, Richard Roberts, 48, Allen Todd, 23, and Mary Todd, 21, immediately after the incident. Reggie Ray, 42, who was observed by police allegedly wielding a folding chair and swinging it at an unknown subject, was charged Aug. 11 with disorderly conduct. 

Roberts and Mary Todd, both of Selma, pleaded guilty in Montgomery Municipal Court on Oct. 26 to charges related to the brawl. Roberts answered misdemeanor charges for two counts of third-degree assault against Pickett and 16-year-old deckhand Daniel Warren. Mary Todd pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of misdemeanor harassment of Pickett and was ordered to complete anger management classes as part of her plea agreement. 

Roberts was sentenced to a four-month suspended sentence, of which he must serve 32 days on weekends beginning on Nov. 4 in Perry County. If he violates this agreement, he must serve the full four months. He must also complete 100 hours of community service.

The Selma Times-Journal attempted to reach Terry Luck, attorney for Shipman and Todd, but calls were not returned.