Who is Chase Shipman? Vasser’s mini mart negative reviews trend as the owner goes viral post Montgomery Alabama Riverfront brawl video 

Chase Shipman (left) was one of the attackers in the Montgomery Riverfront brawl. (Image via Twitter/Fonzworth Pontiac)
Chase Shipman (center) was one of the attackers in the Montgomery Riverfront brawl. (Image via Twitter/Fonzworth Pontiac)

On Saturday, August 5, a fight broke out in Alabama's Montgomery Riverfront Park between several White individuals and a single Black man, who was later identified as an on-duty dock worker.

As per USA Today, the dock-appointed security guard asked a bunch of White people aboard a pontoon boat to move it so that an incoming riverfront boat named Harriott II Riverfront, carrying passengers, could park in its regular spot. However, the former party refused to cooperate, eventually leading to a brawl.

Soon, the Montgomery Police Department arrived on the scene and took people to detention. While they have not yet named the suspects in custody, four warrants have been active since Sunday, August 6.

As soon as the video of the incident became viral, social media users began using their detective skills to identify some of the individuals who allegedly began the dockyard brawl.

Among them, a Vasser’s Mini Mart owner named Chase Shipman has been identified. Netizens have claimed that he was involved in the fight and was also among the first to escape from the scene as soon as he realized that the cops had arrived. Since his alleged identification, the name Chase Shipman has been doing rounds on Twitter, with netizens calling him out.

Chase Shipman, one of the instigators in the Montgomery Riverfront brawl, faces severe backlash online

Around 7 pm on Saturday, the Montgomery Police Department responded to an altercation on Coosa Street near the Montgomery Riverfront Park involving a large group of White people allegedly attacking a Black man. Later, the victim was identified as an on-duty dockyard worker who reportedly asked the occupants of a pontoon boat to vacate the dock area for the incoming riverfront boat carrying many passengers.

Instead of obeying the security guard, people from the pontoon boat allegedly started harassing him, at first verbally and then by hitting him. Many witnesses recorded videos of the incident and posted them on social media long before the cops came and intervened by putting the attackers in custody.

As per USA Today, there were multiple arrests, and the incident is now being investigated with at least four open warrants. In fact, as per statements given to the press by the Montgomery Police Department, more warrants may be issued after the video footage from the public and surveillance camera footage from the dockyard are thoroughly analyzed.

Regardless, instead of waiting for the confirmed names of the suspects, social media users have dug out the identities of the individuals who initiated the brawl from images and videos shared online. The names include Steve Todd, Rachel Faulkner Todd, Catherine Cromer Martin, Anna Blake Langford, Mary Elizabeth Todd, Allen Todd, and Chase Shipman.

The last name on the list, Chase Shipman, sounded familiar to some locals who further identified him as a Selma-based businessman. He is the owner of a Vasser’s Mini Mart located in Selma, Alabama.

Selma Times Journal has also confirmed his identity and named him as one of the people involved in the brawl. As per reports from the journal, he was on a boating trip with his family from Selma to Montgomery over the weekend.

He is 25 years old and a new owner who only acquired the business from his mother, Missy Calvery, in June 2023. As per the journal, Chase Shipman also runs a local gas and oil station. Earlier, his parents had been in charge of both businesses for nearly two decades.

Chase Shipman himself took to social media and posted:

“I am sure most of you have seen the news about the riverboat incident. Yes, I was there but I was the first to try to get away.”

He added that he did not overlook what happened and was not among the ones to fight but the ones to try and stop the brawl. When he could not, he tried to escape. He also explained why there are videos of him running away first from the scene as he realized what was occurring was wrong and he “did not want to be a part of it.”

“I realize I have a business to run and represent, and no charges were filed against me because I was not involved.”

However, internet users do not believe he was speaking the truth as the video allegedly showed him indulging in the fight, and his statements were contradictory. As a result, they called him a liar, and his Vasser’s Mini Mart negative reviews have also been trending. In fact, before the incident, its Facebook page had above four ratings which has now come down to 1.9.

A Facebook user alleges that Vasser's Mini Mart has cockroaches. (Image via Facebook/Dwayne John)
A Facebook user alleges that Vasser's Mini Mart has cockroaches. (Image via Facebook/Dwayne John)

During a media conference on Sunday afternoon, the mayor of Montgomery, Steven Reed, said:

“Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man who was doing his job. Warrants are being signed and justice will be served.”

He also added how the incident was unfortunate and should have never occurred. He also requested the Montgomery community not to become “desensitized to violence” and warned that those who choose to walk that path will be held accountable.

As of Monday, August 7, the Facebook account of Chase Shipman, where he earlier published his clarification, remains deleted/deactivated. The incident garnered extensive social media attention for its alleged racist nature.

Edited by Shreya Das