Friend worries PTSD vet is struggling in jail

 YREKA, Cal. — Family and friends of a local veteran in the Siskiyou County Jail say he has post traumatic stress disorder, and they worry the former Marine isn’t getting the treatment he need.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said back in February, 33-year-old Andrew Mason was arrested for attempted murder among other charges. They said after a dispute between Mason and his elderly neighbor, Mason hit the victim in the head causing life-threatening injuries.

“His mental health is deteriorating,” said Mason’s friend Devin Eskridge. “Where he is right now is not helping him.”

Sheriff Jon Lopey said while he respects his fellow veterans service, no one is above the law.

“When an offense is this serious and inflicts grievous injuries on the person of another, those issues also have to be taken into consideration,” Sheriff Lopey said, “and public safety and the interest of that victim who was almost killed in that altercation.”

“We have all kinds of programs for veterans,” said Siskiyou County District Attorney J. Kirk Andrus,” but somebody disqualifies themselves when they’re this violent.”

Andrus said a mental health facility is an option, but for Mason, it would have to be a closed campus.

“His crime was far too violent and his behavior far too dangerous for him to be in a place where he could walk away anytime without anybody knowing that,” Andrus said.

“We have a contract psychiatrist,” Sheriff Lopey said. “We have a provision for the administration of medications and we will definitely attempt to plug him into some type of treatment regimen.”

Mason’s supporters said they understand that he’s caught up in the legal process right now, they just hope he gets the help he needs.

“He’s never been in trouble before and he needs some psychiatric treatment,” Eskridge said.

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