Reggie Ray, the Black man who allegedly hit people with a folding chair during the Montgomery Riverfront brawl last Saturday, has been arrested.

‘The Chairman’ Reggie Ray charged and arrested

According to police, Ray, 42, has been charged with disorderly conduct.

The deposition in the charge against Reggie Ray states an officer observed him “wielding a white chair and swinging it towards an unknown subject.”

The officer “was able to grab Ray and remove the chair from his hands.”

Ray was detained for officer safety during the melee, the police report states.

When police ran a criminal background check on Reggie it was negative, so he was released pending further investigation.

Ultimately, the “Chairman” was charged and he surrendered to police on Friday (August 11).

He is being held in Montgomery Municipal Jail.

Reggie Ray is the fifth person to be charged and arrested in connection to the Montgomery Riverfront brawl, and he is the first person charged who was not on the pontoon boat.

An attorney for Ray, who is Black, told ABC News his client was “involuntarily roped into the disorderly conduct initiated by a violent white mob.”

“Mr. Ray will continue to participate with the ongoing investigation concerning the same and is committed to be forthcoming about his limited role in the brawl,” the attorney, Lee Merritt, said in a statement.

Disorderly conduct is considered a class C misdemeanor in Alabama.

A person convicted of a class C misdemeanor faces up to three months of jail time and a $500 fine. 

Previous Montgomery Riverfront Brawl Arrests

Previously charged boaters include: 

  • Richard Roberts, 48, two counts of third-degree assault
  • Allen Todd, 23, one count of third-degree assault
  • Zachery “Chase” Shipman, 25, one count of third-degree assault
  • Mary Elizabeth Todd, 21, one count of third-degree assault

What sparked the Montgomery Riverboat Brawl?

On Saturday evening, Damien Pickett, a Black riverboat co-captain, was attacked by a group of White people when he tried to get them to move their pontoon boat so that the Harriott II riverboat could dock.

A brawl ensued when other Black people rushed to his defense. 

“Via body cam video footage seen on August 9, 2023, Ray can be seen striking a white male wearing gray shorts and no shirt with the white chair several times,” according to the police report.


Mr. Pickett was later treated at the hospital for his injuries.

Video of the melee has gone viral and has captivated the internet

Community Response Recovery Fund

Attorney Lee Merritt took to social media to share that a Community Response Recovery Fund GoFundMe campaign has been launched.

Merritt expressed his gratitude to those who have donated thus far.

THANK YOU! More $$$ donated than likes on the post— our community is unmatched.

Propriety cautions to not get into the legal aspects of my clients claims, each who have been hired a local criminal defense attorney. However, this response will allow impacted members of our community to pay fees, cover bills and assert their legal rights.

Reggie Ray should be released shortly. We will provide updates on his status and how the funds are used in his, and others, claims. #itsonus

Donate Now

Reggie Ray Released

Reggie Ray’s attorney Lee Merritt has confirmed his release via social media.

Merritt also said Reggie got a speeding ticket on his way home.

Mr. Reggie Ray is out. He is in good spirits. He got a speeding ticket on the way home but he was relieved to discover the community showed up for him and others in such strong way. Thank you. #itsonus

See the original post below.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or join the convo on our socials. (Facebook, Instagram)