File photo – “A rising star” – initially published on the Town of Barnstable Facebook page in July of 2016, shows (from left to right) “Leisure Services Director” Patti Machado and Recreation Commission Chair Kevin Turner with Reid Mason and his Employee of the Year Award for his work as a beach assistant for the town. Reid, son of Colonel Christopher Mason of the Massachusetts State Police would later (in 2018) be awarded the privilege of serving the town as a Community Service Officer with the Barnstable Police Department.
[HN NOTES ON THIS MATTER]
First, let me preface these notes by pointing out that one of the most welcomed positive byproducts of HN coverage is that, in most instances, people get to see local police officers doing a great job…
… but this may not be one of those instances.
On Monday, May 2, 2022, a prominent Boston area reporter shared with HN the following message. (Over the following days, HN would learn of other Massachusetts based reporters showing keen interest in the following allegations…) Excerpts of the message came via email as follows:
The 22-year-old son of Col. Mason has had his 5 firearms licenses suspended by the Barnstable PD.
In February, Reid Mason was discovered by Barnstable PD in his Jeep-like vehicle in the parking lot at [South] & Sea streets in Hyannis, passed out. The car was turned off so he was not charged with OUI but cops discovered four firearms in the vehicle– 2 handguns, 2 rifles…
It is a crime to be in possession of a firearm while intoxicated, but the cops are claiming that the guns were unloaded, so it’s not a crime. Would he really have 4 guns in the car, unloaded, after closing time? How believable is that?
And if it’s true, why did the chief suspend his licenses to carry? Young Mason was also told to turn over a fifth firearm which he somehow did not have in the car.
He has not lost his driver’s license, I checked. There is nothing in any of the district courts down there, I checked.
The cops have turned the case over to the Barnstable DA, but there’s a catch there too. [Colonel] Mason made his bones working in that office, busting the Worthington murder case.
Questions for Barnstable PD:
Are his licenses indeed suspended, and for what reason?
Have you turned over the case to the DA to see if any crimes were committed?
Have you had any contact with the MSP about this matter?
Questions for the colonel:
Is this true?
Have you had any contact about this with either the Barnstable PD or the DA, whom you used to work for?
Should this case be handled in Barnstable, or turned over to another DA’s office, given the conflicts of interest?
Is Reid interested in becoming a state cop?
Haven’t state troopers been fired/prosecuted over the years for being in the same situation as your son?
HN began speaking with various sources and learned a number of things. First of all, Reid Mason is, indeed, the adult son (reportedly well into his 20s now) of Colonel Christopher Mason, who is currently the one in charge of the Massachusetts State Police Department. And more to the point, that “Young Mason” was, in fact, involved in an “incident” during the early morning hours of February 28, 2022, as HN recently learned in a conversation with a high ranking Barnstable Police official.
According to a conversation earlier in the week with Lt. Mark Mellyn of the Barnstable Police Department, the Reid Mason encounter/incident happened on February 28, 2022, on the Midnight to 8am shift. And according to Lt. Mellyn the encounter/incident is not in the public police log, because of his department’s interpretation of “Exception J” of Mass. General Laws Chapter 140 (gun laws). The entry wasn’t simply redacted with black, it was entirely not entered in the public log. The February 2022 incident is “under review” by Barnstable officials, according to Mellyn, which was the official BPD position/statement on the matter. And as of that time, there had been no application for charges against Reid Mason and the matter had also been turned over to the DA for review. The encounter/incident had also been turned over to the Town of Barnstable legal department regarding the alleged firearm questions. Lt. Mellyn pointed out that he was limited in what he could release, he says, because of decisions pertaining to the aforementioned “Exception J.” (In other words, police department and town higher-ups have placed Mellyn in the “hot seat” regarding this matter.)
HN inquired about the Mason matter with Tara Miltimore of the Cape & Islands District Attorney’s Office and received the following reply yesterday, Wednesday, May 4, 2022:
“My office has reviewed a matter referred to me by Barnstable Police on Friday, April 29, 2022.
Yesterday, on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 I made a recommendation to the police to apply for a magistrate’s hearing as to whether or not a complaint should issue with respect to one charge.
If the magistrate were to issue a complaint the matter would then become a public event and would proceed in the normal course of court proceedings. Until and unless that occurs, it is inappropriate for my office to identify the subject of the application for complaint.”
-District Attorney Michael O’Keefe
Later on May 4, 2022, HN went to the Barnstable District Court to inquire regarding whether the Barnstable Police Department had filed an Application for Complaint regarding the Mason matter. HN met with and discussed Reid Mason’s situation with Charles Ardito, the Barnstable District Court clerk magistrate and he was not completely familiar with the matter. At the time of our conversation, which was around the time of the court closing for the day, the clerk’s office had not yet received an Application for Complaint from the Barnstable Police Department.
According to radio and online sources, journalists across the state were now looking into the Mason matter, and today – Thursday, May 5, 2022 – some were requesting the actual Barnstable Police reports regarding Reid Mason and the seizure of multiple firearms. Howie Carr of the Boston Herald reportedly had been ‘reliably informed’ that two separately dated reports allegedly existed regarding the Mason matter. One report was allegedly filed shortly after the February 28 incident, in early March, and then there was allegedly a second report filed sometime last week (the week of April 24, 2022) after the press inquiries. Needless to say, Carr and many other journalists across the region would like to have copies of those reports, including an additional report that probably exists from when the Barnstable Police allegedly confiscated a fifth firearm belonging to Mason.
The allegations surrounding young Reid Mason have taken on a level of additional importance, urgency, and scrutiny because of who his father is, the acting Colonel of the Massachusetts State Police. Many have questions as to why an incident that allegedly happened way back in February is finally coming to light now, over two months after the encounter/incident. There are appearances of a cover up, or special treatment, potentially because of Colonel Mason being “well connected” in the Town of Barnstable and also because of his connection with the current District Attorney… as well as his years serving as the lead state police detective for the current DA.
Journalists are asking and still wondering whether the Barnstable Chief of Police has, in fact, suspended young Mason’s License to Carry Firearms, as some journalists reportedly have sources relaying an affirmative answer to that inquiry, “on good authority.” Journalists are also asking and still wondering whether there has been any “communications” between the Barnstable Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police. And more importantly, has there been any “communications” between the Barnstable Police and Colonel Mason regarding the matter involving his son?
HN visited the Barnstable District Court Clerk’s Office again today – Thursday, May 5, 2022 – and received the official word on the following:
Late yesterday afternoon, an Application for Complaint was filed by the Barnstable Police Department in the Reid Mason matter. The Complaint came into the clerk’s office as being private/restricted for a private Magistrate’s Hearing to see if there is Probable Cause to move forward. The woman behind the window estimated the hearing would likely be scheduled for late June/early July. If a criminal complaint is issued, the file will become public at that time, according to court policy.
Final HN Note: It’s one thing to allegedly be found sleeping in a Jeep-like vehicle around the time of bar closing, allegedly with a number of firearms… it’s quite another thing to have that type of police encounter when dad’s in charge of the Commonwealth’s lead police force.
THIS is a developing story and HN will be providing official updates as soon as they become available, if ever…
* ALL suspects are presumed to be innocent unless charged and proven guilty in a court of law.
UPDATE – 5/6/22: On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, HN reached out directly to Reid Mason on his Facebook page to gather his side of the story. HN wrote, “Hi Reid. This is Rob Bastille with HN. I was just sent this. [Referring to a blog post by TBDailyNews.com] Are you able to tell me what, if anything, happened?” HN was immediately blocked and as of this update – May 6, 2022 – have yet to receive a response…
UPDATE – 5/5/22: It’s important to note that TBDailynews.com was the first to go live with this developing story… where a number of additional points were made, based on their sources. HN will be looking into and attempting to confirm those points… and also exchange insights where possible…
UPDATE – 5/5/22: It’s also important to note that Howie Carr was the first to reach out and share his findings based on his sources… HN plans on continuing to collaborate with Howie Carr on developments surrounding this story.
P.S. – Today’s Hytown Vignette is a brought to you by The Nels Cline Singers… [CLICK IT/CRANK IT!]
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