By Nick Miller
Multiple sources have confirmed that Mayor Kevin Johnson was hit in the face with a pie tonight at a dinner event on the Sacramento High School campus— then he tackled and assaulted the protester.
The “Seeds of Hope” dinner was in celebration of Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork week, and was held at the Edible Garden at Johnson’s high-school alma mater in Oak Park.
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.
There were nearly 200 in attendance at the dinner, including a few dozen high-school students, according to sources.
Police said that the there was a cut above the suspect’s eye, but that he did not know the size. However, Thompson was transported to a local hospital after the incident, police confirmed.
The spokesperson did not know whether the mayor was injured or not.
Johnson was questioned after the incident. There is no police report yet.
After the pie attack, sources say Johnson was given a change of clothes and addressed the audience at the podium, apologizing, and receiving applause.
By 8:45 p.m. the campus appeared virtually deserted save some lights still on in one building. Any sign of police or chaos had been cleared out.
The mayor’s chief of staff has yet to return a phone call to discuss the incident but did tell the Sacramento Bee that “the mayor was assaulted.”
“He is home with his family. … The whole thing is just shocking,” Crystal Strait told the Bee.
Update: This story is still breaking; the story’s content and headline have been updated to reflect new information and will continue to be updated as the story progresses.
11 p.m.: Sacramento police department has identified the attacker as 32-year-old Sean Thompson. Thompson has been arrested for felony assault of a public official. A motive has yet to be disclosed. Police also confirmed that Johnson punched Thompson after getting hit with the pie. No word yet on the extent of Thompson’s injuries.
Meanwhile, while some reports have said witnesses can’t confirm Johnson actually hit Thompson, UFC fighter Urijah Faber, who arrived on the scene just as the altercation was taking place, told ABC10 that Thompson was “bloodied up” following the incident.
12:36 a.m., Sept. 22: Thompson has been identified as a a former Sacramento City College 2011-2012 Associated Student Body Senator and Occupy Sacramento activist. In a 2012 interview posted to YouTube by the community college’s newspaper Sac City Express, Thompson discussed fighting “the extreme inequalities” between the upper and lower class. As a member of Occupy Sacramento, Thompson says he’d been arrested three times for protesting and illegally “camping” outside City Hall.
In the video he complained about police treatment and also complained that Johnson had “spoke out” against Occupy Sacramento’s efforts. In 2011, SN&R columnist Cosmo Garvin wrote about what may have been Thompson and Johnson’s first-ever run-in.
Then there was bona fide occupier Sean Thompson’s overwrought address to the council, when he turned his back to the dais in order to better show his contempt for the powers that be.
He’s lucky he didn’t get doused in pepper spray, as three cops moved in immediately, put on high alert by his unorthodox and unauthorized use of a podium.
The mayor waved the cops off. The council continued to look bored and alienated.
SN&R has reached out to Thompson for comment.
In the meantime, watch the entire interview below.
A similar version of this blog post is also posted on the East Bay Express site.