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Kevin Johnson says OK to disagree with him, but ‘don’t revert to violence’

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson 'more guarded' after pie attack

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he's "a little more guarded" after former Occupy protester Sean Thompson hit him in the face with a pie during a Sept. 21, 2016, benefit dinner outside Sacramento Charter High School. Johnson responded by striki
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Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson said he's "a little more guarded" after former Occupy protester Sean Thompson hit him in the face with a pie during a Sept. 21, 2016, benefit dinner outside Sacramento Charter High School. Johnson responded by striki

Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson spoke for the first time Sunday night about his run-in with a pie-wielding protester last week but wouldn’t say whether he would press charges against the man accused of being his assailant.

Johnson, who fought back and bloodied 32-year-old Sean Thompson below the left eye, declined to discuss details about the Wednesday night incident, including how many times he struck Thompson. He said he has beefed up his security, including at Sunday night’s Tower Bridge dinner, where he spoke to reporters.

“It’s a concern,” the 50-year-old mayor said. “You never expect to be at ... a private event where things are casual and light and somebody punches you from behind.”

Thompson, a former Occupy protester, is accused of hitting the mayor in the face with a coconut cream pie during a farm-to-fork dinner held outside Sacramento Charter High School.

Johnson responded with at least one strike to the man’s face, witnesses said. Johnson’s chief of staff, Crystal Strait, confirmed that the mayor had struck Thompson.

In a jailhouse interview with The Bee on Thursday, Thompson said he hit Johnson with the pie to call attention to what he said was the mayor spending too much time on downtown development.

“He’s had a lot of opportunities to help a lot of people and he’s ignored every one of them,” Thompson said.

When Johnson was asked Sunday about his message for Thompson, the mayor responded: “I would tell him that I don’t mind him disagreeing with me, I don’t mind him voicing his opinion, but don’t revert to violence.”

The mayor said he hasn’t talked to the Sacramento County district attorney yet about how he’ll proceed with the case.

“I’ll be meeting with law enforcement this week,” Johnson said. “They’ll update me on what the process is.”

Claire White, attorney for Sean Thompson, who allegedly hit Mayor Kevin Johnson with a pie in the face Wednesday night, speaks on his behalf following his appearance in Sacramento Superior Court at the county jail on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016 in Sacr

Sean Thompson, 32, explains why he threw a pie at Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Jessica Hice: 916-321-1550, @JesserPea

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