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Thursday, October 1, 2009

U-Tube Video Puts McKean County Sheriff In Bad Light

World War II vet, sheriff and deputies “star” on YouTube

SMETHPORT — Lester Watson flew many missions over Europe in the early 1940s. The 87-year-old veteran remembers those experiences as if they happened yesterday.

Watson tried to bail out his daughter-in-law from the McKean County Jail in Smethport on June 26, 2008. Fifteen months later he remembers that like yesterday. More...



This Story and Video was broke in the Bradford area on Sept. 29th in the BradfordPAInfo.com online news. Click here to see that story.

52 comments :

Anonymous said...

its not surprising to see that, sum of these police officers walk around with there chest all puffed out and think they are on top of the world and can do anything they want in society. r u serious an 87 yr old man gets treated like this, that sheriff should be ashamed of himself. it really looked like he should not be eating so many doughnuts and maybe hit the stair climber. i hope something was done to that officer.

Anonymous said...

From what I seen on the video, the man was clearly headed to his vehicle when he was halfway through the parking lot. Someone from behind him attracted his attention. He turned, then headed back to his vehicle. Next a man comes into the picture, and clearly verbally assaults the elderly gentleman. Next, the two men are seen face to face. The sheriff clearly assaults the elderly gentleman by pushing him, then begins the cuffing process.

There was no headbutt as claimed by the sheriff. IMHO, this sheriff is guilty of assault and should be reprimanded with the loss of employment and a fine and/or jail time.

Anonymous said...

you see what you see...I too see the elderly man crossing the parking lot. I too see the man turn around, then turn again to his vehicle. I too see a man enter the bottom of the screen. I see the elderly man and other gentleman head towards each other, younger man stops, elderly man then gets in the younder mans face...OOPS, this is where i'm sure we will disagree I see the elderly man get in the youngermans face. If you read the story associated with the video, the elderly man tells you he called the younger man a son of a b... That my friends starts disorderly conduct, actions outside continue to show the elderly man is the aggressor, sorry folks thats how I see it.

Anonymous said...

how did this vidio get out to the public?

Tez said...

These videos are public information. The family requested the video in preparation for a trial that was set to occur yesterday.

Anonymous said...

What started this was the lack of respect shown to an elderly man not familiar with the bail out process. The sheriff's department set the tone..and come off it people need to get a little thicker skinned than flip out when someone calls you a bad name. Sticks and stones people. I think McKean County should show them what they think at the poles and get this guy out of there.

Anonymous said...

11:21 I'm with you.

it doesn't matter if the guy is 87 or 37.. he didn't need to do that. where is the respect for our police?

Anonymous said...

The sheriff should be out of a job. Seriously...I think it pretty bad when you think you can shove an 87 year old man...what the hell.

Anonymous said...

Are any of these people from roulette?

Anonymous said...

wonder what would have happened if that cop had had a tazer. Can't belive what i saw.

Anonymous said...

way to go mckean county this is the same sheriff that feels there is no reason to pull a gun permit to an individual that has threatened to shoot people and who had been in a mental hospital for violant act even when he was shown the proof in black and white print keep him in as sheriff he a real winner

Anonymous said...

I guess there is no freedom of speech in McKean county. Unless he threatened to kill that sherrif there is no merit for him being handled like that. He wasn't creating a situation in any way.

I don't go for this lawsuit driving mentality, but that guy should file suit immediately.

Anonymous said...

I'm compelled to address the anonymous statement that indicates that the older man got into the sheriff's face and called him an explicit. This is true and I see it the same way. However, as an educated, trained criminal justice professional myself, I'll tell you that this is not grounds for that reaction. To begin, this Sheriff entirely provoked this situation. The old man was clearly leaving.....end of story. Why the Sheriff felt the need to follow this individual into the parking lot and escalate the incident is entirely beyond me. In my professional opinion, trained professionals are held to much higher standards than the general public. He knew better than to behave in this fashion and should be held accountable.

Anonymous said...

No faith at all in local law enforcement!!! I feel that they shouldn't be paid contrary to the PSP not getting a paycheck months back!!!

Anonymous said...

wow...seriously can we say professional? where is all the professionalism that our so called protectors are suppose to have. i mean would the sheriff be so calm if this was his father or grandfather being treated like that? Pathetic, someone needs to teach mckean county officers how to behave without thinking their power is all and above, i mean i'm sorry who hasn't been called an sob? and at 87 how could the sheriff of felt threatened. i'm glad this video was made public so that people can really see how some law officials behave.

Anonymous said...

looked like the ol man spit on him..

Anonymous said...

#@$% The police.. Power corrupts.

Anonymous said...

I see a law enforcement officer doing his job. The old man clearly instigated the confrontation. I happen to know Brad Mason and he is a good, decent family man and has an honorable record of law enforcement.

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable

to protect and serve

i mean dont they have tickets to hand out.

Anonymous said...

Someone asked "where is the respect for the police?" You earn respect, you don't demand it as many officers feel the badge gives them the right to do. Most cops are either bullies and don't know how else to treat their fellow man or they were bullied and now want revenge on the world. As soon as I saw those 2 buzz cut, puffed up idiots appear in the bottom left corner of that screen I knew exactly what was going to happen. This old man was going to get roughed up. I have a piece of advise for the police. You don't have to walk around conducting yourself every minute based on what you learned in the police manual. You are allowed to make intelligent human decisions and be compassionate. This cop did exactly what you would learn to do at the police academy in this same situation. However, you're permitted to use that brain inside your skull and say to yourself that this man is almost 90 years old and poses no physical threat to me maybe I should take it easy. And don't even try and say he could have been armed. You were the ones looking for confrontation. If you would have stayed inside and finished your donut he would have just driven away.

Anonymous said...

Good old Martha Knight. Arguably the most biased news reporter in these parts. Of course she could not wait to get the other sides of the story. I am not taking sides here but this man did deserve respect. So did the sheriff. After Martha's hatchet job of a story it will take some time to iron out what happened. That's a real disservice by her and the Bradford Era rushing to print for something that happened more than a year ago without taking time to get the case for the defense. Typical.

Anonymous said...

If the old guy was causing a problem why didn't they just let him leave like he clearly was doing. After being called away from his van I could see why he would be upset and say a few choice words, but I see no reason for the boulder belly sheriff to push around an old man.

Anonymous said...

That is ridiculous. Mason didn't have to treat him like that. He didn’t know the process of how to bail out someone. What is this world coming to? We can’t even trust our own sheriff no wonder why people run from them. Mason is a hypocrite and a liar. Trust me I have seen and heard it from him myself. And I’m sick of the authorities having such big egos just because of what they do for employment. Mason is not liked by a lot of people. Who thinks we need a new sheriff say "I". If he would just do his job right as well as many others out there. Whatever happened to serve and protect. He should be jailed for it; if it was anyone else they would be jailed. F***ing a**hole he is....

Anonymous said...

A. If the family requested the video in preparation for a trial that started yesterday, it should NOT have been made public, at least until the trial is over.
B. You've all appointed yourselves Judge and jury? Were you there to actually hear and see what went on? Videos CAN be altered.
C. Considering his age and military status, you would think he would have the common sense, courtsey and sense of duty to be civil to the Sheriff and not call him vulgar names, especially when in view of the circumstances he was there under.
D. Despite his "injuries" he still manages to run his timber buisness and maintain rental properties. Both jobs very labor intensive at times. Hhhhmmm...
Everyone was very quick to point their fingers. My point is this--none of us were there, and Mr. Watson's military record and age do not automatically exempt him from bad behavior any more than Sheriff Mason's badge makes him above reproach.

Anonymous said...

public information does not apply to security videos from a jail enviorment. With that mentality i can request security tapes from any government run entity, and that is not the case. Discovery on the other hand can be used to aquire information to be used in a trial.

The headbutt in question comes from the man hitting the sheriff with the hat, that is in fact disorderly conduct.

horrible situation.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the officer and the elderly gentleman had some course words. But the officer should be trained to handle these type of situations and defuse them as part of his job of working for and with the public. Not to engage them as he did by calling the elderly gentleman back towards the building.

Anonymous said...

"That my friends starts disorderly conduct, actions outside continue to show the elderly man is the aggressor, sorry folks thats how I see it."

Absolutely not. The agressor was the man that followed the elderly gentleman out the door and antagonized him.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me that the elderly man was escorted out, probably for a good reason. It looked to me like the elderly man was "squareing off" with the authorities and yelling in his face when they appeared to calmly walk over to him. Then it looks like he resisted the arrest. Vet or not, he can only escallate the situation so far before there are consequences.

Tez said...

3:20, the video was released Tuesday, after he had already plead guilty to disorderly conduct to keep out of jail.

Since videos can be altered, can you point out a spot in the video that was altered?

Mason stepped up to Watson, not the other way around. Watson simply stood his ground.

Anonymous said...

I have had the honor of meeting Sheriff Mason a few years ago in McKean County. During our meeting some money fell out of my pocket and went under his table. He actually mailed the money to me with a note stating he found it after I left. This was no large sum of money and he could just as easily kept it but went out of his way to "do the right thing." He will continue to have my support.

Anonymous said...

And I thought Boss Hogg went out with the rest of the Dukes Of Hazzard!

Anonymous said...

Wow, I sure am glad that guy took the oath to protect and serve. We can't have a menace like that running around the county. I bet his fellow officers are proud!

I hope that you can tell that my comments are dripping with sarcasm.

Unbelievable....

Mike

Anonymous said...

After reading through this drivel, I now understand why society is the way it is..
People. When did it become OK to get into anybody's face especially somebody in uniform? Where's the respect? or didn't your parents teach you anything? cmon.. You all think you are great Americans yet you back the actions of a person getting in the face of an officer. do you realize what you are saying??
unbelievable how many people think this is OK..

Anonymous said...

Wow you people really crack me up. Neither party was right here. As a law enforcement officer the sheriff shouldn't have #1 went outside to pursue the man who was obviously leaving. #2 Stepped that close to the man, he set himself up a little for the confrontation. The elderly gentlemen could have got into his truck and left. As I said both sides are wrong, however the sheriff should have taken a different approach.

Anonymous said...

Just from what I have seen on this video, the Mr. Mason is the menace to society....not the older gentleman. Mason should be reprimanded for this! Welcome to the start of police brutality in McKean County. U.S. citizens should be outraged.

Anonymous said...

I can only hope and pray that the good people of McKean County see fit to remove this man from office, right along with his entire staff. And I certainly hope a civil lawsuit ensues and realizes good returns for the veteran and hurts this dispicable man for the rest of his life. This not only saddens me, it sickens me.

Anonymous said...

Jim Russell, Smethport

This could possibly be one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen. I never had any dealings with either guy, but to me the sheriff's actions are inexcusable. I will not vote for, nor in the future support Sheriff Mason. Shame on you Brad. Getting mad or swearing is not a crime, but manhandling an 87 year old should be.

Anonymous said...

lol this is funny shit least it shows an 87 year old man sticking up to the assholes who serve ya not protect ya kudos Mr. Watson. The disorderly part well.. what idiots. clearly the wanna be piggy thought he has the authority to verbally intise the old man. I seen in the video clearly where Mr. Wannabe Piggy was creating head movement which in my thoughts means hes saying something to provoke the elderly. The fat man got in the old mans face first so I see who the real agressor is. Sheriff or not the laws or to protect society not to create a Martial Law and take power into your own hands. Why didnt the state police get dispatched, oh wait cause it was at the jail go figure. Piggy Domain. who shoved who first though i seen the piggy shove first and whos his body guards the guy n girl?

Anonymous said...

If the person at the desk would have started a little different, maybe the whole thing would have been avoided. People who deal with the public are often snotty and treat you like you are an idiot. An 87 yr old man would have no reason to think that he couldn't use cash. When he was growing up, cash was king. A simple, " I am so sorry for trouble sir, but due to our policy, regs., etc, we unfortunately cannot except cash. I apologize for your trouble sir", imagine how much nicer the world could be...and there was no reason to follow an elderly gentleman outside unless it was to prove an point and be antangonistic. I am sure he was upset that he went through all this trouble, and then be treated like that at the desk, I would have been ticked!

Anonymous said...

Well if Mason said he recieved a head butt he is a liar. The man was clearly walking away. He did not stop until provoked from behind. Poor chap had to plead guilty to stay out of jail. I hope the Sheriff has to do the same. By the way Mr. Mason thanks for using my tax dollars for your own court case. I would hope he would have to hire his own. Who the hell is the girl in the video and what is she doing out there. Guess the Sheriff and the one deputy had to act tuff in front of her by picking on an old man. I am sure she will tell a big lie for the Sheriff. I see three people in this video that need gone from McKean Co. I hope the Sheriff is at least on leave until his court case is resolved.

Anonymous said...

Geeezz! Makes me wonder how Big Bad Brad would handle women and children! I say organize and get rid of him.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a "Beer Summit" could resolve this issue!

Anonymous said...

If i walked up to a cop and shove him i would expect to get arrested... sorry

From K-Town said...

For those of you who have condemned Brad Mason, you are pretty sad. I have just one question for you. How many of you were actually present when this incident happened? You don’t know what was said. You don’t know what actually happened. You just rush to judgment based on a one sided story in the local newspaper. Did it ever occur to you that Sheriff Mason may have been instructed by his legal counsel not to discuss the incident with anyone, including news reporters? Some of you have suggested that Sheriff Mason instigated a confrontation by going out and being verbally aggressive toward the man. I would like to know how you arrived at that conclusion. I could not hear what Sheriff Mason said on the video. I believe the reason for that is, THERE WAS NO SOUND. When I viewed the video, I saw an upset, angry elderly man, through his own body language, being confrontational toward law enforcement. Furthermore, the man admitted to being verbally abusive inside the building. What would make you think he changed his demeanor outside in the parking lot

PLEASEREAD said...

PLEASE READ:

1) The police officer is standing outside exchanging words with the man.
2) The man turned around and walked back towards the officer yelling.
3) When they are standing close, make note of the mans head, he faked at the cop pushing his head towards him.

I'm a vet too. You don't stand toe to toe with a cop and fake at him.

The cop pushed the mans shoulders back which is an intelligent response because it is hard to throw a punch form that position (you punch from the shoulder BTW).

The man was not injured by this action and in my opinion it looks to have been defensive.

If the guy is too old and weak to fight he should not have been screaming in a cops face and flinching at him.

I promise you that if I walked up to any police officer and did this they would arrest me too.

Anonymous said...

I just cant believe a police officer would do such a thing..Someone should go to his father or grandfather and do the same thing to them..how would he feel if it happened to him?? That so called police officer would respond the same way that elderly man done..AND THEY SAY THE POLICE ARE OUT TO PORTECT AND SERVE!!!!! All they want to do is go to the convenience stores that are opened 24 hours and feed their fat!!! I have no respect for any officer if they do that to an elderly man..What would that officer have done if HE CAUSED that elderly man to have a heart attack?? Knowing him, he would have just stood there..What the hell is this world coming to..OH WAIT I ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION..AN END..No wonder everyone HATES the police..GIVES THEM A GOOD NAME NOW DOESNT IT..

Anonymous said...

I agree with 1:05. I respect any man or woman that has served for our country but that doesnt give you the right to disrespect a police officer.

Anonymous said...

There is no audio and no knowledge (other than the mans word) of what happened in the office. Martha should have waited to hear back from brad. My Sgt. at lackland won the bronze star....he was still an a@#. This video should not have been released. Age doesn't give you the right to square off with a police officer, this video doesn't give any of you the right to judge....

Anonymous said...

Friday, October 2, 2009 9:31:00 AM EDT this video has the right to be released its under our Rights in the constitution to file for discovery. people have the right to all evidence and people affiliated with a charge its call facing your accuser. and yes this man is an elected official so it does give us the right to judge because he was elected by society and society has the right to see him do his job right or wrong.

Anonymous said...

There wouldn't have been any squaring off if the sheriff had let him go. The story continues to evolve though. The sheriff says he followed him out to ask if he could help him, but also says he knows the guy and that he's had problems before with him. Well, if he knows what the old guy is like, he wasn't going out to help him, unless by helping him he means jacking him up and arresting him.
By the way, why is the sheriff wearing two guns? I thought when you went into the jail, guns were to be checked and secured.
Also, if you ever see the sheriff at the Cottage House for lunch, take note of his choice of beverages. Did you have lunch at the Cottage House that day too sheriff?
You would never have seen this kind of behavior from Morey or Woodruff. Makes you wonder if the sheriff is all stressed out from the many job titles hes has. Sheriff, warden, 911 dispatch director, antagonizer of old men.
There's no law against being disrespectful, if there was, the sheriff would be in trouble.

Anonymous said...

Last time I check disorderly conduct = fine in the mail, not cuffed and stuffed!!!! So proud of McKean County aren't ya now????

Anonymous said...

Disorderly conduct can be a misdeamor 3 which could equal cuffed and stuffed. Trust me I know from experience.