Dock worker Dameion Pickett is speaking out nearly two months after he was attacked by a group of white boaters at Riverfront Park in Montgomery, Alabama.
Pickett, the lead deckhand of the Harriott ll, told Good Morning America that he was "in shock" when he was assaulted for "just doing my job."
"I didn't expect this to happen at work today," Pickett recalled. "I was just expecting another peaceful, nice cruise."
The Harriott ll was getting ready to dock after a dinner cruise when a private pontoon boat was illegally parked in its place, Pickett said.
"We could have docked, but we would end up hitting a couple of those boats and be responsible for it," the deckhand added.
Pickett said crew members tried to ask the owners of the pontoon boat to move it but they were ignored. Under his "captain's orders," Pickett said he then got off the Harriott ll and went to move the pontoon boat himself.
"Really just moved it about one, two, four—four steps to the right, that's it," he said. "I was, like, 'I'm just doing my job … After we dock, we don't mind y'all staying there but not at this time while we're trying to dock.'"
Chaos ensued after Pickett moved the boat. Videos show a man punching Pickett before several others join in on the attack. Pickett said he was left with no choice but to defend himself.
"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,'" he said.
The viral boat brawl led to charges against four white people — Richard Roberts, Allen Todd, Zachary Shipman, and Mary Todd. They all have pleaded not guilty, are out on bond, and are expected in court later this week.
Reggie Ray, a Black man who wielded a folded chair against the attackers, is also facing charges of disorderly conduct. He has also pleaded not guilty.