4 sought in unprovoked daytime beating of city man
Police said John Mason was walking near his home around Howard and Lombard streets when four men converged and started beating and kicking him. Mason was rushed to Shock Trauma with skull fractures. Surgeons noted footprints on his face, according to Mason’s aunt, Christina Jasi.
Mason is currently in a medically induced coma.
“It’s a life-or-death matter at this point. We don’t know if he’s going to survive. If he does survive, is he going to have the quality of life where he can live by himself again? Would he need us to take care of him? We don’t know,” Jasi said.
Police said that, so far, they believe the beating was unprovoked, but they are running down every possibility.
“We’re going to look into the victim’s background to see if there might have been a dispute in his past that could have led to something. But right now, there’s just nothing evident for investigators,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.
He said they also expect crime cameras to flesh out vague descriptions of the attackers, who witnesses said were four black men.
“What’s good is the downtown area is saturated with CityWatch cameras, so we’re hopeful that this incident might have been captured on tape. We’re also talking to the people that called 911, trying to get a better witness description,” Guglielmi said.
Mason’s family said he moved to Baltimore with his girlfriend 10 months ago because he loved the idea of city living. Jasi said the tattoo artist established a laid-back lifestyle at his Cathedral Street home.
“They lived what they called the boring life. They would work, come home, eat dinner together, walk the dog and go to bed,” she said.
She said they’re shocked this could happen in the middle of the day in the busy downtown hotel and business district.
“He was out running an errand that afternoon. He did not do anything to provoke this,” Jasi said. “What we would like is for the people who did this to him to be caught so they can’t do this to anyone else.”
Mason’s family is keeping a vigil at Shock Trauma, where he was listed in critical condition on Monday.