H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Sep 1, 2011 9:18 PM by Danielle Lerner

Alleged victim testifies in John Mason case

We're learning more about what may have happened the night officers say a San Luis Obispo firefighter beat a man unconscious.

Thirty-four-year-old John Ryan Mason appeared in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing. That is to see if there is enough evidence to hold him for trial. Back in June, officers say he knocked 32-year-old Jory Brigham unconscious in the bathroom of Pappy McGregor's bar in San Luis Obispo. Mason plead not guilty to assault and battery charges last month. Several people took the stand during the hearing, including the alleged victim.

Court testimony revealed a Facebook post may have lead to that altercation back in June. Brigham posted something on his Facebook earlier this year, implying that Mason left his family and gave up his "social responsibility" to them. The two men have known each other for about six years, their wives are close friends.

Using diagrams and photos Brigham testified that Mason attacked him while he was coming out of the bathroom stall that night at Pappy McGregor's. He said he suffered a broken nose, a broken jaw, fractured cheek bones on both sides and fractures in his skull.

On the other side, Mason's attorney says this whole case is being blown out of proportion.

"Still don't have feeling on the left side of my face up here, when I do it's very weird feelings, some pain, some shooting pains," said Brigham.

"This was a mutual combat, these were two guys in a bathroom who were wrestling," said Chris Casciola, Mason's Attorney. "One, my client, won the fight, the other, Mr. Brigham lost the fight."

Brigham maintains he never touched Mason but three independent witnesses Thursday described seeing both men fighting each other.

One more witness needs to take the stand for the defense. Mason is due back in court September 8.

The San Luis Obispo Fire Chief referred all questions about the incident to the City Attorney. Mason has been on desk duty during the investigation.

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