A 29- year-old San Francisco man has been formally charged with battery for allegedly throwing a pie into the face of Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel last night.
Police said today (28 October) that Jeffry Larson and a 27-year-old woman identified as Rahula Janowski managed to get media credentials to last night's opening of the State of the World Forum at the hotel.
A hotel security guard said Mr. Shapiro had just finished giving one of the keynote addresses and was shaking hands with a guest when the suspect suddenly threw a cream pie in Mr. Shapiro's face.
Hotel security guards pounced on the two suspects and held them until police arrived.
Security guard Mark Cutler said Mr. Shapiro was not injured.
"He should be fine unless they put something into the pie," Mr. Cutler said.
A San Francisco Police Department spokesperson said both Mr. Larson and Ms. Janowski were taken to Central Police Station. Mr. Larson was booked on a charge of battery as well as another outstanding warrant for an unrelated park code violation.
He was later released on his own recognizance. Ms. Janowski was not charged. A police officer said the woman had not thrown the pie.
Police said the suspects had three more pies in a briefcase when apprehended.
State of the World Forum president Jim Garrison issued a statement today calling it highly unfortunate that the two suspects, "resorted to childish tactics in their expression of disagreement with Monsanto business practices."
In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek communiqué, a group calling itself the Biotic Baking Brigade (BBB) took credit for the assault. An operative describing himself as "apple" said he served, as "special agent-in-charge" of the pie-throwing operation, and that it was part of "an ongoing campaign against corporate crime."
The Biotic Baking Brigade claimed to be aligned with Belgian pieman Noel Godin's International Patisserie Brigade, which has taken responsibility for pie-ing Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates as well as other chief executives.