The Black man famous for wielding a folding chair in the August 5 riverfront Montgomery, AL brawl has been arrested. Reggie Ray, 42, willingly surrendered to MPD authorities on the evening of August 11.
Ray, who was caught on video hitting someone with the folding chair, is being held in Montgomery’s Municipal Jail on charges of disorderly conduct. According to WSFA 12, he’s the first person of five to be charged who was not a white attacker from the pontoon boat. The other four individuals charged with misdemeanors in the investigation were people from the private pontoon boat that blocked the dock that the Harriott II, a cruise ship, needed to dock.
The fight that ensued after the owners of the pontoon boat attacked a Black dock worker was caught on camera, and the videos allowed authorities to identify Ray. According to a deposition filed by the MPD, during the brawl, authorities witnessed Ray “wielding a white chair and swinging it towards an unknown subject [and he] was able to grab Ray and remove the chair from his hands.”
“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.”
After detaining him, Montgomery police ran a background check. Once it came up clean, he was released for the time being, pending further investigation.
Montgomery Mayor, Steven Reed, released a statement the same day to address the fight. He said, “This is a fluid investigation. At this point, the FBI has not classified these attacks as a hate crime, but the investigation is ongoing.”
He addressed the incident through the lens of a Black man and as a mayor.
“As a former judge and as an elected official, I will trust this process and the integrity of our justice system. However, my perspective as a Black man in Montgomery differs from my perspective as mayor,’’ Reed stated, “From what we’ve seen from the history of our city — a place tied to both the pain and the progress of this nation – it seems to meet the moral definition of a crime fueled by hate, and this kind of violence cannot go unchecked.”
“It is a threat to the durability of our democracy, and we are grateful to our law enforcement professionals, partner organizations and the greater community for helping us ensure justice will prevail.”