Crime - Sacto 911

Kevin Johnson on the witness stand? Pie-in-the-face trial scheduled

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

Pastry-wielding activist Sean Thompson hit Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in the face with a coconut cream pie in September. Now he wants to put him on the witness stand.

Thompson appeared for a preliminary hearing Thursday in Sacramento Superior Court, where a judged denied a motion to reduce his felony charge to a misdemeanor.

But Thompson said after the court appearance that he wants the publicity a jury trial would bring regardless of the charge, or the consequences – especially if it means Johnson could be called to testify.

“My whole point of this trial ... isn’t to defend myself against what I did to K.J. It’s to keep a spotlight on ... homelessness,” said Thompson. “It’s worth the potential jail time I might get.”

Thompson faces a felony allegation of assault on a public official as well as a misdemeanor count of assault on school grounds from the Sept. 21 incident at Sacramento Charter High School in Oak Park.

Thompson approached Johnson at the fundraising event and tapped him on the shoulder, according to court documents. When Johnson turned, Thompson hit him on the side of the face with the pie.

Johnson reacted by punching Thompson at least once, according to witness reports. Thompson required stitches near an eye as a result.

Thompson said at the time that he acted to protest what he sees as the mayor and city’s inaction on homelessness.

The mayor’s spokeswoman reiterated on Thursday that the mayor was assaulted.

A conviction on the felony count could result in up to a year in county jail for Thompson. A trial is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2017.

Anita Chabria: 916-321-1049, @chabriaa

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