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Angry man steals stage from KC mayor before security can tackle him

As Kansas City Mayor Sly James was delivering his State of the City address, a man came up on stage, knocked over a flag and began cursing.

A man rushed the podium Tuesday during Kansas City Mayor Sly James' State of the City address, knocked over a flag and started cursing before security wrestled him off the stage.

James, a Democrat in his first term, barely reacted, looking on calmly as the man shouted obscenities into the microphone at the Gem Theater, home to the American Jazz Museum. It was the second year in a row that James has broken tradition by delivering the annual address in an unsecured public location, rather than at City Hall.

A member of James' security detail, Kansas City police Officer Marlon Buie, tackled the man, knocking him off the stage. The man, who hasn't been identified, was taken away in handcuffs.

"Well, that was unfortunate," James said when he resumed speaking.

Afterward, he told reporters: "I didn't have time to be scared. It happened so quickly. I'm just so glad my bodyguards were there."

Police Chief Darryl Forte, who was in attendance, acknowledged that the incident raised questions about James' security. He told The Kansas City Star that his department would launch a security review.

Forte said the man wasn't armed and wasn't ranting about James. 

James told The Star that he had full confidence in his security detail, saying there was nothing the officers could have done "except be standing with me side by side."

"We don't live in that way," he said.

James, who is noted for being active on Twitter, later tweeted:


"Twice" apparently is a reference to the night of Aug. 13, 2011, when gunfire broke out near James as he toured the city's business district after having imposed a curfew because of earlier violent incidents. His guards pushed him to safety on the ground.

A small group of protesters outside the theater, who were objecting to what they characterized as James' neglect of the city's East Side, told NBC station KSHB of Kansas City that the man wasn't affiliated with them.

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