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SLO firefighter heads to trial

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A San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge decided there’s sufficient evidence to proceed to trial in the assault and battery case involving a San Luis Obispo firefighter, who was arrested in June following a late-night altercation at a local watering hole.

John Ryan Mason, 34, of San Luis Obispo, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he assaultedJoryBrigham, 32, of Los Osos, on the night of June 4, at a weddingcelebration at Pappy McGregor’s Pub & Grill in San Luis Obispo.

Mason is still employed with the SLO Fire Department, but has been put on desk duty.

Brigham suffered severe facial injuries in the alleged attack, which, he later told New Times, required seven hours of surgery. Brigham claims he never touched Mason during the altercation in the establishment’s men’s bathroom. Mason, on the other hand, told police he felt he either had to “get my butt kicked or fight back.”

Multiple witnesses gave police conflicting stories of what led to the incident, but none reported seeing the physical altercation take place. One person who was inside a closed stall in the bathroom claimed to see Brigham bleeding on the ground and Mason exiting the bathroom.

“It’s likely that 12 jurors are going to decide this case,” Mason’s attorney, Chris Casciola, told New Times. “The complaining witness testified that he never touched my client, and then three citizens—who don’t know either [Mason or Brigham]—say they saw the two wrestling. … There’s only one person who can really testify to what happened, and that is my client.”

According to Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran, Mason is due back in court for an informational hearing on Oct. 13.

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