Passerby picks fight with San Jose mayor’s security guard during TV interview

A man has been arrested after he disrupted an interview with San Jose, Calif., Mayor Matt Mahan and picked a fight with his security guard.

Mahan was participating in an interview with KRON4 Tuesday evening, when a passerby interrupted the shot. The man was apparently talking on the phone, when Mahan said, “We’re doing an interview, sir.”

The man then began to curse at the security guard, saying he “will f‑‑‑ing smack” him, and Mahan backed away. The video captures the man punching the security detail, reportedly a plain clothes San Jose Police officer, in the head before the fight continued.

“Mayor Matt Mahan is deeply grateful to his security detail and the entire San Jose Police Department,” Mahan’s spokesperson Tasha Dean said in a statement. “The actions of the Officer were heroic and a testament to the de-escalation training that makes our officers effective, compassionate and stewards of community trust.”

San Jose Police Department acting Chief Paul Joseph said the officer was able to take the man into custody.

“As with many incidents involving law enforcement, the video released to the public does not contain the entire incident. In particular, it does not include the officer identifying himself, nor does it include the many attempts he made to deescalate the situation and avoid using force or taking any enforcement action,” Joseph’s statement said.

The man who was arrested had a warrant for his arrest from Georgia for resisting arrest with violence. He was booked in the Santa Clara County jail. The officer was hospitalized overnight and has since been released, the police said.

“As with any use of force incident, this will be reviewed thoroughly by the Police Department to ensure the officer complied with the law and policy,” Joseph’s statement said.

Mahan said he hopes for a speedy recovery of the officer and acknowledged his privilege to have an armed officer protecting him. His spokesperson said he is “resolved in his commitment to create a safer city for everyone.”

“That means hiring more police officers and addressing the root causes of crime, including by intervening earlier and more effectively in cycles of addiction, mental illness and violence,” the spokesperson said.

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