SLO firefighter assault sparked by affair allegations

June 10, 2011

John Ryan Mason


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.

Jory Brigham Facebook photo


At least he was finally arrested.

SLO PD off duty Scott Cramer who beat up a disabled man in Atascadero still walks the streets with a badge and a gun!

Maybe Mason was ‘dipping his wick’ with the wrong person in the DA’s office!


You know, the fact that he did get arrested IS a big deal. The 5 days tells me that the SLOPD, SLOFD and the DA could not make this go away after trying to for 5 days. My guess is the victim hired the right lawyer — one the SLOPD and DA don’t want to mess with…


To the extent that the damage has already been done, I can see a win/win possibility here in the future.

Lock this violent, dangerous, SOB up for a long time and let him out to expend his energy when there are serious fire’s that require a large degree of resources and send him to the front lines every time.

In exchange for those serves, we will give him a years credit off his 30 year sentence, that is, each time that he volunteers to fight a real fight. Oh, geeez, how I detest bully’s.

P.S. That photo looks like he is “amped up” on something?


Much to lenient. Day for Day only!


LOL, I asked the same thing!

I’ve read he is a “gym rat.” Could these violent rages be ‘roid rage?


If this guy was anyone other than a firefighter he would have been arrested that night.

He bailed out and he is already back at work.

The guy who shot the other guy in SLO last week had bail set at $500,000 and his victim is fine, one night in the hospital.

Ryan Mason permanently disfigures another person and only $50,000 bail. This just seems wrong.


Actually had he been an off-duty SLOPD officer I doubt he would have ever been arrested…


Unacceptable behavior like this does not warrant him keeping his job. I don’t care if he was bedding the fire chief’s wife, beating a fellow human being to where he has to have a metal plate put in his head is just horrific.Another thing that really bothers me is his mug shot. If he did this on a Saturday and was not arrested and processed until Thursday, he has issues with drugs and or alcohol. His little pinpointed pupils and bloodshot eyes tell it all. I think when you are serving the public as a firefighter, or police officer etc., you should be drug tested before you go on your shift.


ITA! That is the most common-sense thing I’ve read today about this travesty of justice.

He should not be allowed to have access to the public while wearing a uniform. His judgment, and his ability to control his response to anger, making him a walking time-bomb.


I would not want to have to depend upon John Mason’s professional judgement if a loved one’s life were at risk. As it stands, this man is a liability to the city and to fellow firefighters.


Karen Veile……you are, again, not 100% accurate on your reporting.

Mason is not 6’3″. The allegations were not an affair with another FIREFIGHTERS wife.

Makes me wonder what else you got wrong?


I don’t know about the back story leading up to it, but I was there and the story regarding the incident is accurate.


What is 100% is there was evidence enough to arrest him and charge him with felony crimes. I cant believe he would be allowed back to work. I would think administrative leave with out pay would be appropriate considering the charges. And if he is cleared then he could be reimbursed. These are some very serious charges. I dont know of any employer that would not terminate an employee for something like this. He is a trusted public servant.


Maybe the city is punishing him with the desk job? Now he has to do the work of the office staff they laid off to keep him employed as a firefighter.


slojo, only one of your complaints makes any sense. Why don’t you point out the truth as you know it? I believe the writer explained today on the radio she had multiple witnesses and sources for all her info. One caller (maybe you) had similar nonsensical ‘issues’ with this story, attempting to chip away at the story. So far CCN is winning, as usual. Come up with something substantial if you want to create a side story.


Slojo, your comments are heresay.


“John Ryan Mason, 34, a 6-foot-3-inch TALL BUFF firefighter, allegedly followed Jory Brigham, 32,…”

Why is Mason described in detail as “tall and buff” but there’s no such description of Brigham? Seems a bit unbalanced, like CCN is biased against the alleged assailant. So is Jory Brigham fat and short? Tall and flabby? Words matter.

Obviously beating a guy unconscious is wrong on every level but this article reads like a tabloid tale. I’ve come to expect better journalism from CCN.


Maybe Karen was swept away by his manly-man physique?

Probably not. Those psycho eyes would turn anyone off–except a fellow psycho.


Hopefully this will not be spun into a job-related stress incident, leaving his employer (which is us) on the hook for his actions. It sounds like he screwed up, and he needs to man up like a 6′ 3″ buff firefighter would.

Scary to think he was somehow being “protected” for several days by his union cohorts. I don’t think I believe that. I’d like to believe public safety specialists are mature enough to separate their work from their union dealings. (Much like I expect teachers not to “take it out” on the kids because they are angry that their union didn’t serve them better.)


I can hear you grinding on that (anti-union) axe from waaaaaaaaaaaay over here!


Read it again.

What I said was that I’d like to believe that the men/women of the union would put their employment obligations first, and their union affilitations second. If it sounds different, I am sorry for my part in being misinterpreted.

Truth told, I do not like the union, I do not think it’s necessary, and I think it harms both the employer/taxpayer and the employee/unionmember. I think it is unnecessary and causes significant undue expense and bad will to all of us. I would like to see it disbanded tomorrow, and the union leaders thrown to the dogs.

But that’s not what the initial article, nor my response was about.


QUOTING RACKET: “Scary to think he was somehow being “protected” for several days by his union cohorts. I don’t think I believe that. I’d like to believe public safety specialists are mature enough to separate their work from their union dealings….”


Yeah, and I’d like to think that Mason’s fellow firefighters aren’t such “meows” that they complacently allow Mason to seduce their wives, and then actually help shield him when he brings dishonor to the whole department by maniacally beating a man, when he was down on the floor, unconsious, with a champagne bottle, to the point where that man had to have a metal plate put in his face.

WTF, Chuck? Man-up, dudes. Quit shielding this d-bag, because if you continue shielding him, you will most certainly end up being seen in the same light that Mason is now sen in.

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