Don't mess with former NBA star and current mayor of Sacramento Kevin Johnson. That seems to be the takeaway this morning after a farm-to-table dinner event last night devolved into something a little bit less than refined when, according to the East Bay Express, a protester rushed the mayor and hit him in the face with a pie. Needless to say, Johnson didn't take kindly to having his dessert served simultaneously with the main course, and, as one witness told the paper, proceeded to beat the protester to "a bloody pulp."
While the exact nature of the pie is unclear (one witness said it was whip-cream topped, another claimed it was store bought), the larger details of the night seem straightforward. "Multiple witnesses" told the East Bay Times that after the mayor was pied around 6:45 p.m., the alleged pie-thrower, 32-year-old Sean Thompson, said something to the mayor. It was at that point, witnesses told the paper, that the mayor tackled Thompson — punching him "repeatedly" — connecting "five to ten" times.
Sacramento police confirmed the basic details of the story, with spokesman Sergeant Bryce Heinlein telling the paper that “The mayor did strike the suspect after he was assaulted.” The official statement confirms that the mayor was assaulted, and that the protester "sustained a minor injury" before being transported to the hospital.
Meanwhile, Johnson appears to have come away mostly unscathed — tweeting out last night his appreciation for the police officers on scene.
Appreciate everyone. I'm doing fine. Thank you to Sac PD for being there. Be safe everyone.— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) September 22, 2016
There were about 200 people in attendance at the event, and after the altercation the mayor changed clothes and addressed the crowd — to a round of applause.
At present it is not exactly clear what, specifically, Thompson was protesting. However, as Deadspin reports, questions about the mayor's alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl years ago have recently resurfaced.
According to the Sacramento Bee, Thompson was "arrested on a felony charge of assaulting a public official and misdemeanor charge of battery on school property." The man has been arrested before for "failing to disperse" during a 2011 Occupy protest.
“Jail sucks,” Thompson said at the time.