- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson punched a man repeatedly, leaving him bloodied, after the man struck the mayor in the face with a pie during a farm-to-table dinner event Wednesday night, multiple sources told the East Bay Express.

The mayor had given a speech at the Seeds of HOPE dinner at Sacramento Charter High School before the man approached Mr. Johnson, pulled a pie from his bag and shoved it into his face, the mayor’s Chief of Staff Crystal Strait said. 

Ms. Strait said the mayor defended himself against the man, but she would not give details.

Witnesses told the Express that the man said something to Mr. Johnson, which apparently set him off. The mayor then tackled the protester and punched him in the face “repeatedly,” more than half a dozen times, leaving him a “bloody pulp,” witnesses said.

Police arrested 32-year-old Sean Thompson on suspicion of assaulting a public official, which is a felony, the Sacramento Police Department said in a statement.

The suspect was treated at a local hospital before he was taken to be booked into jail.

A police spokesman confirmed to the Express that there was “some sort of physical altercation” between the suspect and the mayor.

“The mayor did strike the suspect after he was assaulted,” spokesman Sgt. Bryce Heinlein told the Express. He could not confirm whether Mr. Johnson tackled Mr. Thompson.

Mr. Thompson’s booking photo showed him with cuts, bruises, and sutures next to his left eye.

Mr. Johnson was reportedly questioned after the incident. There is no police report yet.

The mayor later tweeted that he’s “doing fine” and added, “Thank you to Sac PD for being there.”

After the pie attack, sources said Mr. Johnson changed his clothes and apologized to the audience of about 200, the Express reported. He even reportedly brought UFC fighter Urijah Faber up to the podium and joked about the altercation.

Mr. Faber later told a local TV station that the suspect was “bloodied up” after the incident, the Express reported.

Mr. Johnson, who had a long career as an NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns, has roughly two months left as mayor after deciding not to seek a third term.

His final two years in office were marked by the re-emergence of a decades-old allegation of sexual misconduct. The Phoenix Police Department investigated but did not file charges. Mr. Johnson has denied the allegations.

⦁ This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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