Though being arrested can be anyone’s worst nightmare, it’s actually a fairly common occurrence. Statistics show that 52% of American men will be arrested at least once during their lifetime. Most arrests can be kept relatively quiet, but there are those who seem to enjoy the attention they receive from their legal troubles. Even if they don’t agree with the charges being brought against them, they don’t always mind their time in the limelight.
This seems to be the case in a story that began with a coconut cream pie. Sean Thompson, a 32-year-old activist, was arrested after hurling a pie into the surprised face of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. Johnson responded by hitting Thompson at least once in the face (with his fists, not pie). Thompson was briefly hospitalized, later stating that he required nine stitches around his eye, before being taken to jail.
Thompson was charged with assaulting a public official and battery on school property, which are felony and misdemeanor charges, respectively. He was being held on $100,000 bail before being bailed out by Marilyn Young, the owner of Knotty Girl Bail Bonds. Though Young and Thompson had never met prior to the incident, she felt compelled to help in Thompson’s release.
“I can’t really say I’m pro-people throwing pie,” Young said, “but I’m pro-people standing up for what they believe in. I understand people have a better chance fighting their case if they are out [of jail].”
What Thompson believes in, evidently, is taking action to protest the mayor’s inaction. In taking aim at the mayor’s face with a pie, Thompson also aimed to get attention for causes close to his heart: issues that homeless, poor, and the uneducated public are facing.
The former Occupy protester and U.S. Air Force serviceman said that “the City Council and the mayor and other local members of local government have a duty to serve its citizens … and I feel like they have been doing a substandard job.”
Though Thompson was released on bail (and subsequently celebrated over a more savory pie: pizza), he’s managed to stay in the public eye. The story has earned national media attention and his actions have sparked public debate on social media. Thompson and his lawyers have asked for the charges to be dropped, but as of current reports, they still stand.
Thompson is continuing to criticize the charges being brought against him, saying that they’re being blown out of proportion, stating that “these are trumped-up charges. This was a pie to the face of a mayor. It didn’t create a lasting injury.”
He feels the incident does not rise to the level of felony assault, and adds that he got the worst of it in the altercation, including “repeated blows to the face and the back of the head” from Johnson.
Thompson states that he hasn’t ruled out taking further action on the matter — but whether he will get his just desserts remains to be seen.