Alan Joyce, CEO of Australia's Qantas Airways, was hit directly in the face with a pie by an anti-LGBTQ activist during a business breakfast on Tuesday.
About to start his speech at the West Business Leadership Matters conference in Perth, Australia, the man responsible for the assault — identified by police as Tony Overheu — approached the stage where Joyce was speaking and hit him in the face with a lemon meringue pie.
After composing himself, Joyce left the stage in order to clean himself up, BBC reported.
Overheu was arrested and charged with providing false details. BBC reported that Joyce would be pressing additional charges against Overheu, but did not specify what his intentions were.
"The police are continuing their investigation and my intention is to send a message that this type of behavior isn't acceptable and that I will have every intention of pressing charges," Joyce told reporters on Wednesday. "I have every intention to continue to be vocal on those social and community issues. It's important for our shareholders, our employees, and our customers. It's called good corporate social responsibility."
In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Company, Overheu admitted that he pied Joyce because he wanted to "make a statement."
"Alan Joyce is a very active individual in this process [towards marriage equality] and in that context he was appropriate [to target],” Overheu told the Australian Broadcasting Company. "When the community is grumpy, figures who are overstepping the line have got to anticipate there will be pushback in some shape or form."
Overheu noted that after the incident occurred, he emailed Joyce — as well as companies involved with conference — to apologize.
"It was a very serious action to take and if it was going to be an effective statement, then it needed to be done in a manner that hit target, in a sense, without causing any injury," Overheu said.
Update: an earlier version of this post noted that Overheu was an LGBTQ supporter, when in fact, he is anti-LGBTQ.