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16-Year-Old Who Swam to Dock in Alabama Riverboat Brawl Speaks Out After Being Sent Money: 'Did What I Was Taught to Do'

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Source: notcapnamerica/twitter;dre scott/facebook

Aug. 8 2023, Updated 6:14 p.m. ET

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A 16-year-old named Aaren who swam to the dock amidst the viral Alabama riverboat brawl issued a statement via his publicist, has learned, expressing gratitude for the overwhelming love he's received after the incident.

Aaren has been called "Black Aquaman" for jumping into action and swimming across the water to help defend a Black man who was being attacked by a group of white dockers during a shocking melee that unfolded on Saturday.

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Source: notcapnamerica/twitter

A witness said the fight started after an argument over a pontoon boat blocking the dock where a riverboat was trying to moor.

Afterward, the Black worker moved the boat for them, and one of the white men began attacking him while the city's water vessel was still waiting to dock, shared City Council Candidate Terrell Anderson.

Anderson also gave a breakdown of the events, stating, "Another white guy jumped in to help attack the Black dock worker and then four more white people jumped in to attack the dock worker."

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Source: notcapnamerica/twitter
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From there, several others rushed in to help, including Aaren. One white woman was thrown into the water during the brawl and new footage also showed the moment a Black man smacked a white boater with a chair.

"I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been sending me money to help me get new boots. I promise I don't need anymore than I already have. Thank you everyone for your support," Aaren said in a statement, per his representative, Makina Lashea.

"The only thing I did was what I was taught to do," he added.

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Source: notcapnamerica/twitter
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Lashea sang praises in her own statement made on behalf of Aaren's parents, publicist team, and extended family, calling the teen a "cherished young hero" who displayed a "remarkable act of bravery and compassion."

"In the face of adversity, Aaren selflessly came to the rescue of a fellow colleague, showcasing courage beyond his years. We are immensely proud of his actions and the values he exemplifies, standing as an inspiration to us all," she continued.

"Your messages and gestures of appreciation have not gone unnoticed, and they have left a lasting impact on Aaren."

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On Monday, learned that authorities issued four arrest warrants for suspects who attacked a Black dock worker, not yet releasing their identities.

"There's a possibility more will follow after the review of additional video," a police spokesperson told ABC News.



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