By Sam Stanton and Bill Lindelof
Sacramento police have arrested a man for a probation violation unrelated to comments he made to Mayor Kevin Johnson at a downtown restaurant that his security officer deemed as a possible threat.
Police said Fred Roger Nelson, Jr., 43, approached the mayor at The Grange restaurant in the 900 block of J Street this morning and told him "he would not be in office within a couple of hours," police Sgt. Norm Leong said.
Police said he was not armed when he made the comment. The mayor's security detail took immediate action, police said, because of what was considered a threat to Johnson's safety.
Later, no evidence was found at Nelson's residence that indicated any future plans to harm the mayor, police said.
Police said that Nelson has a history of violence, but did not elaborate.
Online records for Sacramento Superior Court show criminal cases involving Nelson dating back to 2006, with charges including sexual assault, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a police officer and violating a protective order.
Nelson was booked on probation violations unrelated to his actions with Johnson. Nelson is currently on probation for charges stemming from prior assault, resisting executive officers and resistance to a peace officer.
Police said they presented the facts of what happened to Johnson to the Sacramento County District Attorney's office.
"We ran it by the district attorney's office and they did not feel they had enough, based on how the way the penal code is written, to charge the threat," said Leong. "He violated some of the conditions of his probation."
The mayor, a former NBA star who is frequently seen in public around town, is typically accompanied by an armed reserve or retired police officer who acts as his driver and security detail.
The same level of protection was provided for Johnson's predecessor, Heather Fargo, and Leong said he was not aware of any previous threats or incidents aimed at Johnson.
He added that he did not believe the man who was detained was a patron of the restaurant.
Call The Bee's Sam Stanton, (916) 321-1091.