Final arguments heard in firefighter fighting case

September 25, 2012

The fate of San Luis Obispo firefighter John Ryan Mason now rests in the hands of the jury.

Defense attorney Chris Casciola and Deputy District Attorney Kristy Imel delivered their closing arguments before a crowded courtroom Monday in the felony assault trial of Mason.

Casciola said Mason acted in self-defense when engaged in a bar bathroom brawl with Jory Brigham after a wedding on June 4, 2011. But, Brigham, who lost the fight inside the Pappy McGregor’s bathroom, ended up sustaining 17 fractures in his face. Imel said Mason used unreasonable force.

“Ryan Mason left that bathroom, and Jory Brigham was lying on the floor covered in his blood,” Imel said.

While Imel claimed Mason acted out of rage and revenge for a Facebook comment Brigham made about his marital troubles, Casciola assigned reasons to Brigham being the aggressor.

Casciola called Jory Brigham “the moral police of this community,” saying Brigham decided to punish Mason for his affair and brief separation from his wife. Casciola also described Brigham as a “talker” and “a dog that doesn’t bite.” He said Brigham relied on “liquid courage” to challenge Mason physically.

“At some point that dog decided to bite,” Casciola said.

Casciola also said that money is a motivation for Brigham. While he did not accuse Brigham of starting the fight for money, Casciola said that Brigham’s ties to an attorney show that he plans to sue Mason civilly.

“He started a fight. He lost that fight. Does anybody doubt he’s going to sue for that fight?” Casciola said. “He’s used the district attorney’s office as his tool.”

Imel, who said it was disgraceful to claim money was a motive, insisted that Mason used unreasonable force in fighting Brigham. Alluding to an alleged attempt by Brigham to fake fight Mason earlier in the evening, Imel said Mason had revenge on his mind.

“He didn’t want to fake fight Jory Brigham,” Imel said. “He wanted to shut Jory’s mouth. And he did. Jory had his mouth shut for several weeks.”

Imel said Mason’s reaction revealed the “consciousness of his guilt.”

“Why did he run off?” Imel asked.

Imel said that Mason’s history of fighting and his bout of rage at Pappy McGregor’s makes him a danger to the community.

Casciola countered that Mason is “a firefighter, family man, never seems to be in trouble.”

Mason faces charges of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury.



  1. slojo says:

    Ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  2. slojo says:

    Mary, you seem to have a very strange obsession with Ryan Mason, just like Jory does.

    (-11) 17 Total Votes - 3 up - 14 down
  3. Cindy says:

    I noticed a statement in an article at the Tribune that caught my absolute attention the other day. Apparently, there was LE testimony during the trial that Ryan Mason refused to answer his telephone or his door when the SLOPD attempted to contact him after the assault.

    Not only did he run away but he hid at home after. He clearly ran and hid because he didn’t want LE contact. I can’t help but wonder what he was on? What is it that he didn’t want them to be able to prove?
    Surely if he was innocent and only defending himself and if he left the scene of the crime because he was afraid of the other guests, he would have been relieved to tell his side to the PD rather than hide from them.

    Only guilty people hide from the police and refuse to answer their phone or door.

    (26) 30 Total Votes - 28 up - 2 down
  4. SLOTECH90 says:


    (20) 24 Total Votes - 22 up - 2 down
  5. MaryMalone says:

    QUOTING BOB FROM SLO: “Ryan Mason has a wife and children, so he could be considered a “family man

    Well, using that description, Charles Manson could be considered a “family man,” too.

    …which would make the second thing Mason has in common with Charles Manson, the first thing being those “Manson lamps” eyes of Mason’s booking photo.

    (49) 61 Total Votes - 55 up - 6 down
  6. MaryMalone says:

    Casciola called Jory Brigham “the moral police of this community…”

    The last resort of the guilty: blame the victim.

    Brigham didn’t even mention Mason’s name. It could have been any floozie-monger stepping out on his wife. I would guess there is more than just Mason in this county that fits that description.

    (42) 50 Total Votes - 46 up - 4 down
  7. rollem says:

    Casciola called Jory Brigham “the moral police of this community,” saying Brigham decided to punish Mason for his affair and brief separation from his wife.

    Really?? I would love to think that Jory would go around and fight anyone who did any harm to any of his wife’s friends but come on…

    how did the conversation go Mr Casciola?

    Mrs Brigham- “Honey, my good friend’s husband just cheated on her and she doesn’t know what to do..”

    Mr. Brigham- “Oh don’t worry, when I see that guy I will just beat him up, that should fix it, after all, I am the Moral Police of the community and it is my duty to fight people who are not nice to your friends”

    Mrs. Brigham – “But that doesn’t make sense, if you are the “Moral Police” wouldn’t you do what is morally right? – people with morals don’t try to beat people up!”

    (55) 55 Total Votes - 55 up - 0 down
  8. bobfromsanluis says:

    “Casciola countered that Mason is “a firefighter, family man, never seems to be in trouble.” Um, I guess that one out of three counts if you are a desperate defense attorney trying to make your client seem “less guilty”? A “family man” does not sleep around with multiple women; someone who “never seems to be in trouble” is someone who actually isn’t in trouble, not someone who either hasn’t been caught before, or has had a tacit approval by one of his “fraternity brothers” (a police officer) who did stumble upon a fight Mason was involved in but simply let him walk away. If one were to really breakdown the defense attorney’s statement, you could agree that he did not tell an “untruth”; Ryan Mason has been a firefighter, true; Ryan Mason has a wife and children, so he could be considered a “family man”‘; and Ryan Mason apparently has no record of ever being arrested before for fighting or assault; I have to wonder how attorney Casciola can even walk without falling over, he seems to exude “sliminess” to the nth degree.

    (54) 58 Total Votes - 56 up - 2 down
    • MaryMalone says:

      We don’t even know that he was really much of a firefighter. He may have tucked his tail and ran away from fires, leaving others to suffer, just like he did when he tucked his tail and ran away after he beat Brigham into the floor.

      (41) 51 Total Votes - 46 up - 5 down
      • slojo says:

        Ryan Mason is one of the best firefighters this county has. He is by far, one of the best paramedics, if not the best, in this county. He has saved numerous lives in this community and always treated his patients with respect and compassion. He is highly trained and skilled in his profession and has a great work ethic and to say anything to the contrary is 100% false.

        And Mary, before you spout off saying I am one of his “cronies” or whatever you call his co-workers, save it, becuase I’m not.

        (-47) 73 Total Votes - 13 up - 60 down
        • MaryMalone says:

          QUOTING SLOJO: “He is by far, one of the best paramedics, if not the best, in this county.

          If that is true, then we are all screwed because I would not have left an injured dog lying on the floor. I expect a little bit more than “running away” as the response of a paramedic to someone who is severely injured, whether or not he was on duty or not.

          ANY paramedic who would, first, beat someone into the floor as he did Brigham, and then RUN AWAY, without providing medical attention or at least alerting another first-responder that Brigham needed help, should be immediately fired.

          Personally, if you think “Run-Away Mason” is “one of the best paramedics, if not the best, in this county,” then you are dead wrong. Any human being should not leave another human being bloodied, bashed, and lying on the floor of a men’s bathroom. Mason ran away to protect himself, even after he caused the injuries to Brigham.

          I don’t even think that kind of behavior qualifies Mason to be considered a man or a human being. I am sick at heart to think he was a paramedic.

          (44) 60 Total Votes - 52 up - 8 down
          • slojo says:

            “I would not have left an injured dog lying on the floor”……even if the dog had just attacked you? hmmmm.

            There is NO LEGAL OBLIGATION TO ACT when a first responder is off duty. Get it through your thick skull. Especially after that person attacked you in the bathroom.

            (-58) 66 Total Votes - 4 up - 62 down
            • Crusader says:

              “Legal?” Perhaps not. Moral/ethical? Absolutely.

              (35) 35 Total Votes - 35 up - 0 down
              • MaryMalone says:

                The City of SLO isn’t “legally required” to hire self-serving, viciously violent cowards like Mason, either. Yet, they did.

                (13) 17 Total Votes - 15 up - 2 down
                • slojo says:

                  arent you legally required not to slander another person?

                  (-20) 28 Total Votes - 4 up - 24 down
            • MaryMalone says:

              QUOTING SLOJO: “There is NO LEGAL OBLIGATION TO ACT when a first responder is off duty. Get it through your thick skull. Especially after that person attacked you in the bathroom.


              Which action do you think reflects a person who is more qualified to be a paramedic?

              a. Someone who beats down someone into the floor and then runs away in the hopes he won’t get caught.

              b. Someone who, even though he was responsible for the victim’s injury, he puts the injured victim’s needs first and so responds as needed to the victim…AND realizes that, as a paramedic for SLOCity, his actions reflect not only on himself, but on his fellow paramedics/first-responders and the City for which he works?

              (19) 25 Total Votes - 22 up - 3 down
              • slojo says:

                You don’t know the first thing about what it takes to be a paramedic or what qualifications you have to have.

                (-24) 30 Total Votes - 3 up - 27 down
                • MaryMalone says:

                  Ethics is the #1 thing any first-responder has to have, and something Mason lacks. They have to be able to check their own personal feelings about an injured person at the door and give them the same treatment they would give their best friend.

                  In Mason’s case, the kind of treatment he gives a friend is to either have an affair with his best friend’s wife, and the kind of treatment he gives a severely injured person with whom he has a personal beef is to run away to protect himself from being arrested for being the one who had caused the severe injuries to the victim.

                  Face it. A married man should not have to be concerned that, if his wife had to be treated by paramedic, married Mason, that his wife was not going to end up having an affair with Mason.

                  I pray you are not a paramedic or other first-responder because your comments in support of Mason indicate a profound lack of ethics.

                  (19) 21 Total Votes - 20 up - 1 down
                • unlisted says:

                  Position: SLO City Paramedic

                  Minimum Qualifications:
                  1 – Raving psychopath or sociopath who can generally pass as normal.
                  2 – Knowledge of how to inflict the maximum damage to a person without killing them.
                  3 – Ability to use qualification 2 without warning or remorse.
                  4 – Ability to deflect blame to the object of your aggression.
                  5 – Ability to get away with lying and cheating.

                  (11) 21 Total Votes - 16 up - 5 down
                • jms3211 says:

                  You obviously don’t know the first thing about being a decent human being or what qualifications you have to have to be considered a decent human being. Your buddy is toast due to the fact he is in the same ball park as you…..clueless! Say your goodbyes soon.

                  (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
        • doggin says:

          Highly trained professionals,especially those who treat individuals who are commonly combative or mentally out of touch are also trained on how to deescalate a situation and don’t beat others near death when confronted. If Ryan was attempting to defusing the situation he could have easily walked away, or if nothing else left once his victim was down and and reentered the populated room where if Brigham struck again would face numerous individuals trying to restrain him. Few buy the Ryan was the victim bit.
          So say Ryan was innocent and Brigham started it and took the first shot on Ryan? A so called professional wouldn’t risk being potentially gutted by a drunk who allegedly has it out for him and wants revenge,I suppose Ryan knew Brigham was not capable and figured it was lesson time for his friend.

          (31) 31 Total Votes - 31 up - 0 down
          • slojo says:

            Excuse me, Jory was not beat near death. That makes me laugh.

            (-32) 34 Total Votes - 1 up - 33 down
            • standup says:

              The beating makes you laugh? What’s your name if you think you are so tough and support this kind of crap? Yeah, that’s what i thought. Mr. troll.

              (18) 22 Total Votes - 20 up - 2 down
              • slojo says:

                I didn’t say the “beating” made me laugh. I said the comment that he was beat “near death” made me laugh. Don’t get it twisted.

                (-6) 12 Total Votes - 3 up - 9 down
            • MaryMalone says:

              He had 17 facial fractures which required 5 steel plates and extensive wiring.

              Facial fractures can be fatal. If there is enough force to drive them into the brain. There is a specific karate strike that is intended to shove the nasal bones through the delicate sinuses and into the front lobe of the brain.

              Facial fractures occurring during the beat down of a victim into a men’s bathroom floor can certainly pick up all kind of microbes, which can lead to a fatal infection.

              Undergoing surgery to affix the fractures can certainly be fatal.

              Having to be basically at greatly reduced activities while the 17 fractures heal can lead to a fatal embolism. If anticoagulants are used during the recovery period, they can also lead to a fatal hemorrhage.

              I’ll tell you what. Let’s beat your face into a 17-fracture pulp and see how serious you think it is then.

              (18) 20 Total Votes - 19 up - 1 down
              • slojo says:

                Is that a threat?

                (-7) 11 Total Votes - 2 up - 9 down
                • MaryMalone says:

                  Poor baby. It’s easy for you to attempt to diminish Brigham’s injuries, but just the suggest indicating you might have a different opinion if those injuries happens to you, and you think it is a threat? Really?

                  (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
        • Jack L says:

          A good paramedic does not leave a man on the floor with 17 facial fractures, that’s a no brainer. Is this your idea of compassion?

          (30) 32 Total Votes - 31 up - 1 down
        • flytrap says:

          If he is such a “great paramedic’ with a “great work ethic”, he should have known that drunk people are not capable of defending themselves, much less driving or doing other activities that require some degree of reflexes before he brutally assaulted and could have killed him. Your prejudice in defending this violent, dangerous “family man” is truly twisted.

          (24) 26 Total Votes - 25 up - 1 down
          • slojo says:

            Ryan didn’t brutally assault Jory. If you had been at the trial you would have learned from independent witnesses that Jory attacked Ryan. Ryan is not violent or dangerous.

            (-25) 31 Total Votes - 3 up - 28 down
            • MaryMalone says:

              “Independent witnesses”? Like you?

              Yeah, they are as reliable as “independent jury members” like the firefighter who ended up on the jury.

              (13) 19 Total Votes - 16 up - 3 down
            • SloNonNative says:

              Breaks 17 bones in a man’s face and deemed not dangerous. Hehe

              (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
        • mikedavis says:

          I agree.

          (-5) 19 Total Votes - 7 up - 12 down
          • mikedavis says:

            Just so I’m clear, I agree with slojo.

            (-19) 27 Total Votes - 4 up - 23 down
        • jms3211 says:

          What? Are you his boyfriend?

          (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.