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Man arrested after attack on San Jose mayor injures bodyguard

Two men in suits, one speaking into a microphone, the other slightly out of focus in the background.
San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan, right, seen in March 2023 at a press conference, was unhurt when a man attacked a plainclothes officer in his security detail Tuesday evening. | Source: Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

A man was arrested on suspicion of assault after an altercation involving San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan during a media interview Tuesday evening, authorities said.

Around 6:03 p.m., Mahan was being interviewed near South First and East San Fernando streets in downtown San Jose when a man began shouting profanities and acting erratically toward the mayor and his staff, a police spokesperson said.

A plainclothes San Jose police officer assigned to Mahan's security detail tried to de-escalate the situation, but the suspect grew more agitated and threatened the officer.

Despite attempts to calm him down, the suspect advanced and struck the officer, police said. A struggle ensued for several minutes as the officer tried to detain the suspect. Bystanders helped subdue the man, who was taken into custody.

The officer was taken to a local hospital and treated for moderate injuries, authorities said.

The suspect was booked into Santa Clara County Main Jail on multiple charges, including felony battery on a police officer. His motive and the circumstances surrounding the incident remain under investigation.

"Mayor Matt Mahan is deeply grateful to his security detail and the entire San Jose Police Department," his spokesperson Tasha Dean said Wednesday in a statement.

"The actions of the Officer tonight were heroic and a testament to the de-escalation training that makes our officers effective, compassionate, and stewards of community trust. His thoughts are with the officer and he hopes for a speedy recovery."

Dean said Mahan "understands how privileged he is to have an armed officer protecting him at all times, and 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."

George Kelly can be reached at