SLO firefighter assault sparked by affair allegations
June 10, 2011
BY KAREN VELIE
A local firefighter allegedly beat a man unconscious in a bathroom at Pappy McGregor’s in San Luis Obispo on Saturday after an eight-month rift stemming from claims the firefighter was having an affair with another firefighter’s wife.
The incident has sparked public concern because San Luis Obispo police waited five days to arrest the suspect
John Ryan Mason, 34, a 6-foot-3-inch tall buff firefighter, allegedly followed Jory Brigham, 32, into the bathroom and beat him about the head causing significant facial injuries. As a result, Brigham, a local furniture designer, is scheduled to have a metal plate surgically placed into his head and his jaw wired shut on Friday.
Mason and Brigham’s wives are good friends. About eight months ago, following allegations that Mason was planning to leave his wife for another firefighter’s wife, Brigham publicly voiced his view on extramarital affairs.
Brigham posted on a Facebook page that it is not acceptable for a husband to walk out on his wife. Mason allegedly fired back using his wife’s account in an alleged post that has since been deleted.
While Brigham was pummeled to unconsciousness, Mason–the only suspect, was not arrested until Thursday when he was booked on three felony counts.
The delay has given rise to speculations that Mason was afforded special treatment by his public safety brethren. It comes at a very sensitive time given local police and firefighters have joined forces campaigning to convince San Luis voters to maintain binding arbitration by turning down an August ballot measure.
Mason was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail on suspicion of assault with great bodily injury, battery with serious bodily injury, and inflicting great bodily injury while committing a felony. His bail was set at $50,000.
Update: Mason was bailed out of jail and returned to work at the San Luis Obispo Fire Department. He has been placed on desk duty while the city performs an investigation.