Kevin Johnson, former Phoenix Suns guard and almost-former mayor of Sacramento, was speaking at a dinner event celebrating the city's Farm-to-Fork week when a protestor whipped a pie in his face. Johnson, according to a witness, proceeded to beat the man to a "bloody pulp." UFC fighter Urijah Faber, who was also at the event, described the protestor as "all dirty, dressed kind of raggedy, and bloodied up [after getting hit]."
The "Seeds of Hope" event took place at Johnson's old high school in Oak Park, and was attended by some 200 people including high school students. Nick Miller of the Sacramento News Review* has more:
Sources in attendance reported that, during the meal, a protester allegedly ran at the mayor and threw a store-bought pie in his face. After this, the protester–later identified as 32-year-old Sacramentan Sean Thompson–said something to Johnson, which prompted him to tackle Thompson and punch him in the face "repeatedly." One witness described it as a "bloody pulp." Ambulances and fire department arrived on the scene.
The police statement issued on the incident offers a different description, namely that the mayor was assaulted and, in classic passive-cop voice, "during the assault, the subject sustained a minor injury."
Johnson's spokesperson Crystal Strait confirmed that the method by which the subject sustained his minor injury was in fact a fist from her boss:
Strait said the mayor was talking to dinner guests when a man approached him from the side, grabbed him by the arm, yanked him off balance and slammed a pie into his face. "He brought (the pie) with him. He pulled it out of a bag," she said. A brief scuffle ensued. "It was a blur," she said. Online reports suggested the mayor hit back. Strait confirmed that was true.
Thompson was taken to the hospital for treatment and later charged with assault of an elected official, which is a felony, as well as battery on school property, which is a misdemeanor.
Johnson cleaned himself up and re-addressed the crowd, seeming no worse for wear.
Appreciate everyone. I'm doing fine. Thank you to Sac PD for being there. Be safe everyone.
— Kevin Johnson (@KJ_MayorJohnson) September 22, 2016
*Correction: This post originally misattributed reporting from the Sacramento News Review to the Sacramento Bee, it has been fixed and we regret the error.