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Man recorded wielding folding chair in Alabama riverfront brawl pleads guilty to misdemeanor

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A man recorded swinging a folding chair during an Alabama riverfront brawl this summer pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge Monday.

The guilty plea resolved the last of the charges brought in connection with the brawl. The man was ordered to perform community service and given a suspended sentence.

The August riverfront melee in Montgomery drew national attention after bystanders recorded white boaters hitting a Black riverboat co-captain and then Black crew members and bystanders rushing to his defense. Video of the fight was shared widely online, sparking countless memes and parodies. Many of those memes focused on the folding chair swung by the Black man who pleaded guilty Monday.

Witnesses say a large brawl that broke out on the riverfront in Montgomery, Ala., on Aug. 5 was fueled by alcohol and adrenaline.Courtesy Christa Owen

Montgomery police said the brawl began when the white boaters refused to move their pontoon boat so the city-owned Harriott II riverboat could dock in its designated space. The boat’s co-captain said he was attacked after moving the pontoon boat a few feet to make way for the riverboat.

Four white boaters were charged in connection with the fight and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges ranging from harassment to assault.