SLO firefighter claims self defense

September 2, 2011

San Luis Obispo firefighter John Ryan Mason testified Thursday he threw punches in self-defense following an argument in a bathroom at Pappy McGregor’s Bar & Grill on Monterey Street in June.

John Ryan Mason, 34, allegedly beat Jory Brigham, 32, unconscious after an eight-month rift stemming from claims the firefighter was having an affair with another man’s wife. Brigham, the husband of Mason’s wife’s best friend, had posted a message on his Facebook page that men should not leave their wives for woman they are having affairs with.

Mason admitted to police he was upset over the Facebook post. He, however, told officers Brigham was the aggressor during their June altercation, according to the police report.

Mason had no injuries while Brigham required three metal plates to be placed in his face and his jaw to be wired shut.

Brigham testified he repeatedly told his assailant to let go of the past dispute at Thursday’s hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

Five days after the alleged assault, officers booked Mason 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.

Mason bailed out of jail and returned to work at the San Luis Obispo Fire Department. City officials placed Mason on desk duty while the city performs an investigation.


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“The “same” (almost killing a person) or worst !

Tell us about yourself Willie~!!!”

I never answered your open ended question

Yes I done worst than what Mason is capable of (A former something like martial arts instructor)!

The other persons did time, we all ened up in the hospital for trauma and stiches!

Ironically 15 years later, I met one of them, we both appologized and explained our misguides

We even huged each other (both changed), you have no idea what a wonderful thing it was.

If we meet again, I feel a brotherly love for him, yet we almost killed each other.

The answer to your question


You replied, “That you have done worse than what Mason is “Capable of”?

What does that mean? Mason almost killed Jory !

Every “human being” given certain circumstances is capable of killing someone, but that’s where restraint and self-control comes into play, which Mason as a SLO Firefighter First Responder is supposed to possess.


If you didn’t end up in an over-night stay in the hospital, like Jory, then most likely you didn’t “almost kill each other…imho…

Stiches are “nothing”! . . . Compared to what Jory has suffered!

Trauma, what “trauma”…Mental

You both changed…”brotherly Love”…Christians? Just wondering…smile…

Interesting to read the debate regarding who was at fault, or whether or not Mason is guilty of battery.

The reality is that the cost of Mason’s legal expense for the criminal charges alone will easily exceed $100,000. Regardless of the verdict, he will certainly face a civil suit which will be another $100k in legal costs if it goes to trial, one third of that if he settles, plus some very significant amount for damages. Add to that the very real possibility of jail time and losing his job.

Right or wrong, guilty or not guilty aside, the best decision anyone can make in the face of an altercation is to simply walk away.


I appreciate you post:

The only thing that stands in the way is arrogance and pride, add alcohol fuel the anger or fire.

From the works of Confusicus

A you boy was punishied excessively from his drunk father

One day, his father came after him with a BIG club, and the son ran away.

The son ask Confusius if he had done something wrong.

Confusicus response was: You did the right thing, for if your father had killed you whil;e intoxicated, he would have been executed, and you saved him.

Back away, Walk away, turn and run away!!!

When you cannot escape and he assults youm, he will go to jail (you at least tried to save him)!!!

The judge will ask the first question in mutual combat “Were you able to walk away, and did you???


I can NOT forgive Mason for what he did, even if he does time for his crime,

unless or until he genuinely make amends with Brigham (Near impossible).

and if Brigham forgives him (unlikely).

However (admittedly) If the victim was someone close to me I would not be entertaining a varied viewpoint such as this.

But truthfully if the above did occur, so can forgiveness.

I know this sucks

You can learn things from anger management but not find peace.

You will never find peace until you can:

(From the 12 steps)

Step 8 – Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and be willing to make amends to them all

Step 9 – Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

All of you who have done the same or worst as Mason and even Brigham, out of anger or fear, or even out of duty or a certain belief DO know what I am talking about.

The “same” (almost killing a person) or worst !

Tell us about yourself Willie~!!!


No punt intented

Mutual serious injury (all human), regrets after even though called self defense or mutual combat


I don’t think Mason is proud of what he did!

There is a tremendous amount of obvious reget on his shoulder now and later in many aspects.


Many Felons regret what they’ve done, but by then it’s just too damn late.

True, I agree

I would be feeling differently if it had happeed to someone close to me.


If you spoke to many military combat veterans (most do not like to talk about it) at times they are numb about it, other times they feel bad in mixed ways about it.

Some are in AA meetings and bring it out.


I don’t believe Military Combat Veterans doing what they are “trained” to do in Combat conditions compares to Mason who is a first responder trained to provide Basic Life Support and additional Advance Life Support did by beating Jory half to death.

Fireman need good self-control and the ability to interact with the public in a professional manner at all times.

Combat veterans kill or become killed

There is a difference and simularity with Mason

First the power to do it

Second the realization

Its simular to the indians after bagging a deer, they pray for forgiveness, there is some necessary regret (for food)

With Mason, the anger (arrogance) and the power (confidence) to do it.

But for damn sure the greatest regrets now.

I think you are mistaken that we should have lenancy


No matter what the court outcome will be, or how long his sentence will be what I meant was he will never find peace within himself or with Brigham unless he makes amends now, while he is in jail or after his release. Should he accompolish this then the best thing he could ever hope for is Brigham’s forgiveness.

Even those in AA and NA who know it would be a good thing to attemp, many LACK THE COURAGE under the influence or sober.


This has nothing to do with Mason’s presecution or restitution.

I rather see Brigham forgive Mason than to live in fear and hatred.

Oh never mind it.

Forget it.


my fault, let me clarify

Lifetime of sharing with others who have regrets.

Approximately 20 years of volunteer counciling/ friendship and mentoring

If Mason or Brigham knew me I feel they would both open up freely and comfortably to me

In some respects or degree many of us are no better at one time or another