Mary Todd, 21, became the fourth assailant to be arrested in the fallout of Saturday’s viral brawl on the riverfront in Montgomery, Alabama, with cops revealing Thursday that she had been booked on a charge of third-degree assault.
Footage from the scene appears to show Todd, who is white, wearing a purple t-shirt and kicking a Black riverboat co-captain as he was being jumped by three white men, prompting a massive melee divided along racial lines that ended with 13 people being detained.
Todd joins Richard Roberts, 48, Allen Todd, 23, and Zachery Shipman, 25, who are also facing charges of assault in the third degree. Roberts turned himself in on Tuesday, and Allen Todd and Shipman were booked Wednesday night after going on the lam for a day.
A police spokesperson told The Daily Beast that Todd turned herself in to police and was being held at the municipal jail on Thursday. Cops did not reveal what relationship she has, if any, with Allen Todd.
While Todd is shown throwing a kick in the attack that preceded the brawl, she didn’t fare as well once her group became outnumbered. Footage appeared to show her getting punched as someone pulled her hair. At another point, she turned to get away but it appeared she was then punched in the face—sending her to the ground. She then retreated to the safety of the pontoon boat.
Mary Todd’s arrest came just hours after a witness statement from riverboat co-captain Damien Pickett emerged, providing first-hand insight into Saturday’s chaos.
Pickett reportedly told cops he was “just doing my job” when he tried to move a pontoon boat slightly forward so that his passenger ferry, the Harriott II, could dock in its reserved spot. Cops say the pontoon boat’s owners had refused to move the vessel for 45 minutes—and even flicked off the ferry—despite repeated pleas for them to move just a couple of feet.
Just before punches began flying, Pickett claimed to police that one of the now-arrested men yelled, “If you touch my boat, I’m going to beat your ass,” WSFA reported Thursday, citing his witness statement.
Pickett told cops that Roberts, the pontoon boat’s owner, was the first man to confront him. He got in Pickett’s face so Pickett said he threw off his hat and prepared to fight, but was quickly tackled to the ground—a scene captured on dozens of videos now seen around the world.
During that struggle, as the three men wailed on him, Pickett claimed one of his assailants told him, “I’m going to kill you, motherfucker.”
Pickett recalled that he grabbed someone and “held on for dear life” as he tried to protect himself. Help arrived quickly from bystanders and colleagues—one of whom swam from the undocked Harriott II—and the tables quickly turned on the white men.
“I was holding on when they pulled him,” Pickett recalled of help arriving to save him. “I looked up, and two people was pulling [the assailants] off, a tall gentleman and a security guard. I fell to the ground again, and the security [guard] grabbed me.”
Once up, Pickett said he yelled for a deckhand to throw him a “line” so he could dock the ferry and unload its dozens of passengers. That ended up adding more fuel to the fire, with enraged passengers yelling and arguing as Pickett’s colleagues stepped in to avenge his attack.
Pickett recalls things getting especially hairy at that moment. He told police he turned and saw his sister being choked out by Roberts—so he leaped into action again.
“I hit [Roberts], grabbed her, and turned around,” he said in the statement. “[Then] MPD had a taser in my face. I told [the officer] I was attacked and said, ‘Can I finish my job?’ Because the back of the boat wasn’t tied.”
Once the dust settled, Pickett said he finished docking the ferry and rushed its passengers off, apologizing for the inconvenience. He says he told cops he had pain in his head, so he was taken to a hospital. Doctors determined he had bruised ribs and a lump on his head, but no serious injuries.
While police maintained they didn’t have enough evidence to file hate crime charges, witnesses claimed that race played a factor. One woman—watching the chaos from the ferry—told cops she heard the trio of white suspects yelling “f**k that n***er” just moments before they began beating Pickett.
From her perch on the ferry’s second deck, the witness reportedly told cops she saw her 16-year-old son dive into the Alabama River to swim to the dock and help Pickett. Moments later, the teen was entangled in the fight—at one point being punched in the chest so hard, his mom told cops she watched him stumble away, clearly injured.
Right after that blow, the woman reportedly told cops, she heard one of the suspects say he was “getting his gun,” but the ordeal ended with no shots fired.
The Harriott II’s captain, Jim Kittrell, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that he also believed the Pickett was attacked because he’s Black.
“It makes no sense to have six people try to beat the snot out of you just because you moved their boat up a few feet,” Harriott II skipper Jim Kittrell told The Daily Beast. “In my opinion, the attack on Damien was racially motivated.”
Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert did say, however, that he expects more arrests and charges to be doled out in the brawl’s aftermath. In a press conference Tuesday, he also called on Reggie Gray, a 42-year-old Black man accused of “wielding a folding chair” in the chaos, to come forward for further questioning.