Man injured in jail seeks $3 million in damages

A man assaulted inside the Island County Jail in 2015 has filed a $3-million claim against the county, arguing that jail personnel were negligent in housing him with a violent and aggressive inmate.

Eric Mason, 50, said he suffers from a traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, making it nearly impossible for him to work. He formerly lived on Camano Island and now lives in Spokane.

Mason said he was in a cell at the jail on Dec. 27, 2015, with two other inmates. One of them, Jeremy Thompson, punched Mason, causing him to fall.

“My head hit the floor like a basketball. That’s what my friend told me,” he said, referring to another cellmate who witnessed the incident.

Mason said jail employees didn’t take the assault seriously at first and delayed in bringing him to the hospital for treatment.

“They could see it on video,” he said. “They should have called the paramedics right away. That’s what normal jails would do.”

Mason was in jail after being arrested on suspicion of voyeurism. Thompson, 29, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

An investigator’s report states that a deputy in the jail’s control room saw the assault on video and notified other corrections deputies, who responded to the cell.

The video of the incident showed Mason and Thompson in a boxing stance and then Thompson punched Mason in the head. Thompson later told an investigator that he was angry because Mason made a racist comment, the investigator’s report states.

The corrections deputies arrived to find Mason on the floor, bleeding from the mouth and suffering from a swollen cheek. Mason refused medical attention, the report claims.

The next day, the investigator spoke to Mason, noting that he was “dazed and confused” by the previous day’s event.

A few days later, Mason provided a written statement which seemed to indicate he had received medical treatment. Mason wrote that his headache never went away, his jaw hurt and he felt disoriented.

At some point doctors determined that Mason suffered a broken jaw, the report states.

In an interview this week, Mason said he was never the same after the assault.

He applied for disability benefits, he claimed, but had trouble getting evidence of his injury from Island County.

Thompson was charged with assaulting Mason and pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree.

In the other case, he pleaded guilty to residential burglary and assault in the second degree for sneaking into his father’s house and assaulting him, court documents state.

Thompson was sentenced to two years and five months in prison.

Mason went on trial for secretly setting up a camera in a bathroom of a home he was sharing with family members and capturing video of a husband and wife without their knowledge.

One of the videos showed the woman getting in and out of the shower.

Mason was convicted of four counts of voyeurism and a count of attempted voyeurism. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison.

Mason said he was wrongfully convicted and is still appealing the case. He told an investigator that he set up the camera to prove a family member wasn’t washing his hands and was making the family sick when preparing food.

More in News

Photo provided
This plaque was removed from Deception Pass bridge during painting. Anyone with information about how to reach the family of Todd A. Kelly should reach out to Jason Armstrong.
Park seeks to return plaques

The plaques were apparently placed as memorials for Brian R. Rudolph and Todd A. Kelly.

Washington State Patrol Chief John Batiste, center, greets a new trooper during a graduation ceremony, as Gov. Jay Inslee looks on in the Rotunda at the Capitol Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, in Olympia, Wash. The class of 31 troopers completed more than 1,000 hours of training and will now work for the WSP across the state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 2,000 state workers lose jobs

Ten troopers north of Seattle, 54 Monroe prison workers and hundreds more across the state refused the governor’s mandate.

Man accused of assaulting woman, stealing phone, calling to threaten her

A Langley man is being held in jail on a $25,000 bail bond and facing a long list of charges.

Tiny House group bemoans big connection fees

Members of an affordable housing project tried to secure a discount for fees it already paid.

Langley city council ponders salary increases

Langley City Council members were divided on the topic of salary increases for the mayor and staff.

Photo by Dean Petrich
Ferry twice stalled by wayward watercraft

The ferry was already behind schedule when a small boat capsized near the Clinton terminal’s dock.

Council looks to state rep for help with ferry woes

State Rep. Dave Paul was invited to a Langley city council meeting to speak about recent ferry cuts.

Service temporarily restored to Clinton-Mukilteo ferry route

Despite major slashes, the first weekend of an abridged ferry schedule saw some pleasant surprises.

Tides presentation set for Oct. 20

Phyllis Woolwine, president of Shearwater University, will deliver a presentation Oct. 20.

Most Read