The dockworker at the center of a viral video capturing a wild brawl at a dock in Alabama in August has revealed that he was “just doing [his] job” and was “just in shock” when he was attacked.
Dameion Pickett, during an interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” said the Harriott II was wrapping up a dinner cruise on Aug. 5 when a “lot of people” were in the way of the vessel arriving at Riverfront Park in Montgomery. Police have said a moored pontoon boat was blocking the larger vessel from docking.
“We could have docked, but we would end up hitting a couple of those boats and be responsible for it,” Pickett told ABC.
The lead deckhand added that “Everybody was yelling, “Could y’all move y’all boat?” before getting off the dinner cruise and under “the captain’s orders,” going to move the pontoon boat himself just “four steps to the right.”
Pickett said words were exchanged, and he told an individual he was just doing his job.
A viral video taken of the scene then showed a shirtless man running and taking a swing at Pickett, sparking what would become a massive brawl.
“This man just put his hand on me. I was, like… it’s my job, but I’m still defending myself at the same time. So when he touched me, I was, like, ‘It’s on,’” Pickett told ABC.
“I was still trying to get that boat in while the fight was going on, I was still telling the captain we got to get these folks here safely to this dock,” he added.
Aaren Hamilton-Rudolph, a 16-year-old whom ABC said was working on the boat for just his second week, was seen in video jumping into the water and swimming to Pickett’s aid.
“Everybody was just recording. No one helped,” Hamilton-Rudolph told the network. “So I couldn’t just watch and sit around and just let him get beat on while everybody else is just recording and watching.”
Four boaters have since pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault charges, while another man who was filmed swinging a chair in the ensuing melee has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges, according to The Associated Press.
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