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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A man took a coconut cream pie from a grocery bag, grabbed Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson from behind and smacked him in the face with it at a charity event, leading the former NBA star to start swinging and then tackle the man who was left battered and facing assault charges.The pie wielder and local activist, Sean Thompson, 32, said Thursday that the mayor overreacted, sending him to the hospital for nine stitches before he went to jail. He said he was angry Johnson devoted so much political energy to an arena for the citys basketball team and not to other needs such as education and homelessness.The mayor was greeting people eating at an outdoor charity dinner Wednesday night at Sacramento Charter High School when Thompson pulled Johnson back and shoved the pie in his face, said Johnsons chief of staff, Crystal Strait.There was no throwing of the pie, said Erika Bjork, who works for a professional soccer team in Sacramento and saw the encounter up close. This was a direct assault. It just happened that he had a pie in his hand.Bjork, whose boss is a major donor to Johnson, said the mayor looked shocked and swung at Thompson multiple times, but she didnt see him land any punches.Thompson had red and blue bruises and a roughly 1-inch line of stitches under his left eye when he spoke to The Associated Press in jail.When I threw the pie at him, right at that moment, I shouted at him. I said, `You need to better represent me, Thompson said.He said the mayor turned and hit him at least twice and pretty hard. Thompson said he covered his face and started to move away but was quickly surrounded by people and kept taking hits. He couldnt tell who delivered the blows.Thompson said he expected to be tackled by police but was caught off guard when the punches came from the mayor. He said he has no regrets but was surprised to be facing a felony, assaulting a public official.He was held on $100,000 bail and was expected to be formally charged Friday.Johnsons signature achievement in office was getting a $550 million arena built for the Sacramento Kings, which Thompson said took attention away from other issues.Cres Vellucci, who organizes legal support for activists at the National Lawyers Guild in Sacramento, said people in the social justice community are concerned about Thompsons safety and Johnsons physical response.Prosecutors will review the case, including the mayors reaction, after receiving the police reports, likely on Friday, district attorney spokeswoman Shelly Orio said.Whether youre hit in the face with a pie or a fist, youve been assaulted and youre generally allowed to respond with similar force, said Rory Little, a former litigator and professor at University of California Hastings College of the Law.Johnsons response probably is not a disproportionate reaction, though it might not be the reaction we want our public officials to have, Little said.Vellucci wrote in an email that he met Thompson five years ago and described him as a nonviolent person who participated in some of the first Black Lives Matter protests in Sacramento in 2014 and in Occupy Sacramento rallies before that.Police and Johnsons chief of staff said Thompson was not previously known to the mayor and his staff. In an interview with local TV stations, Thompson said hes interacted with Johnson many times during city meetings for activists and that the mayor often appears disinterested and unengaged in community members concerns.Johnson is well-known for his efforts to revitalize Oak Park, a predominantly African-American neighborhood.Hes a graduate of the high school where the event was held Wednesday and brought it back from the brink of dissolution in the early 2000s by incorporating it in a system of charter schools he founded to help disadvantaged communities.Johnson, who had a long career as an NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns and a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, has about two months left as mayor. He decided not to seek a third term.---Associated Press writer Jonathan J. Cooper contributed to this report.---This story has been corrected to show that the first name of Cres Vellucci was misspelled Chris and that Thompson had injuries around his left eye, not his right. 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Olympic wrestling gold medalist Helen Maroulis understands the impact she can have on children, young fans and aspiring wrestlers. ?Last Friday, Maroulis participated in an event held by the Casey Cares Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides programming to critically ill children and their families. The Olympian spent the day with 50 children from the organzation at an indoor adventure park in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland, where she played dodgeball, and signed autographs.As a young wrestler practicing at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, Co., Maroulis remembers what it was like to meet wrestlers and figures she looked up to as a child.Some of the older wrestlers, sometimes they [would] invvite you to come sit at the table with them at the training center,?Maroulis said.dddddddddddd I would be like oh my gosh they invited me, they notice me, thats so cool.?Maroulis awareness of her impact, given her status as an elite wrestler, has instilled a dedication to giving back -- something she committed to even before becoming the first American to win an Olympic gold medal in womens wrestling, this summer.I have been greatly affected by so many people, ?Maroulis said. Its something that I love to give back as well. ?Sean Hurd is a Digital Media Associate at ESPN. Follow him at @seanahurd ' ' '

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