The deckhand who was attacked in a viral brawl on a riverboat in Alabama last month said today he was just trying to “do his job” when he was attacked and hurled with racial slurs.
Dameion Pickett, 43, was attacked on August 5 while attempting to dock Harriott II, a riverboat in Montgomery, Alabama.
A private pontoon had parked illegally where the tourist boat was located.
Pickett moved the other boat slightly to make room for the Harriott II and was then attacked by four white men who he said shouted racial slurs as they beat him.
Dameion Pickett, 43, was attacked on August 5 while attempting to dock Harriott II, a riverboat in Montgomery, Alabama. He spoke out about the attack in an interview with GMA this morning
Pickett was confronted after moving another group’s pontoon in Montgomery, Alabama
One of the men in the other group hit him out of the blue while others were filming on the Harriott II
The group jumped at Pickett, throwing him to the ground and shouting racial slurs, according to witnesses
After the Harriott docked, others jumped in to join the fight. Four people have been charged with assaulting Pickett.
In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America On Monday, Pickett and two of his colleagues said they never expected the encounter to turn so violent.
“That man just put his hand on me.” I was like…it’s my job, but at the same time I’m still defending myself. When he touched me, I said, ‘It’s on,'” Pickett said.
After being ignored by the group, the captain of the Harriott II instructed Pickett to do it for them.
‘[I] “I literally just moved it one, two, four, four steps to the right, that’s all,” he said, adding that he was not only concerned about the passengers on his boat, but also the other group’s pontoon cared.
Mary Todd, 21, turned herself in last month along with her boyfriend, Zachary Shipman
DailyMail.com can reveal the mugshots of Allen Todd, 23, and Richard Roberts, who have also been charged
“If our boat hit theirs, it would sink,” he said.
Pickett was immediately violently attacked by the other boat owners, who began beating him almost immediately.
Roshein “Rahrah” Carlton, who works as a steward on the Harriott II and is a longtime friend of Pickett, said he heard the group of white boat owners shouting racial slurs.
“It’s our duty as – as our colleague, as a team, to go and help him and support him,” he said.
16-year-old Aaren Hamilton-Rudolph, who was working on the boat, jumped into the water and swam to Pickett when he saw he was being attacked
Hamilton-Rudolph had only been on the job for two weeks but said he felt compelled to help when he saw his colleague being attacked
Pickett, Hamilton-Rudolph and Roshein “Rahrah” Carlton (right), who works as a steward on the Harriott II and is a long-time friend of Pickett, on Monday morning
The four people against whom charges have been brought so far are sitting in handcuffs in the dock
Eventually, dozens joined the fray – including 16-year-old Aaren Hamilton-Rudolph, who worked on the Harriott II and was filmed jumping into the water and swimming to the dock to help Pickett.
At that point, he had only been in office for two weeks, but felt the urge to step in.
“When they started attacking him, no one helped. I couldn’t just stand by and let him get beaten up. “Everyone else just recorded it,” he said.
Pickett said he was grateful he wasn’t more seriously injured.
“I have a few bumps and bruises here and there, I’m here by the grace of God.”
“I went to work to work, not to argue or be attacked,” he said.
Zachary Shipman, Mary Todd, Richard Roberts and Allen Todd were all charged with assault.
They are scheduled to appear in court this week. Lawyers representing some of the group previously denied that racial slurs were used.
A woman at the riverfront brawl in Alabama said she heard a white assailant tell the black sailor at the center of the shocking incident “f**k that n*****.”