K-9 tracks man who fled crime scene

OKEECHOBEE — A 22-year-old Okeechobee man alleged to have gotten into a physical altercation with his girlfriend and two others was arrested Saturday after being tracked by law enforcement K-9.

Alexander Franklin Mason, Southeast 60th Drive, was arrested June 2 on felony charges of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, escape, tampering with or harassing a witness, victim or informant, resisting officer without violence and misdemeanor charges of three counts of battery and criminal mischief with property damage ($200 or less). His bond was set at $188,500.

Alexander Franklin Mason, 22

According to an arrest report by Deputy Steven Pollock, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), at 11:02 p.m. on June 1, he responded to the 9300 block of Southeast 60th Drive in regards to a disturbance complaint.

Upon arrival, Deputy Pollock met with the complainant who reportedly stated she was returning home from her walk down Southeast 60th Drive when her live-in boyfriend, Mason, confronted her, ensuing in a verbal argument. The complainant then reportedly said that during the argument Mason struck her via head butt. The woman then said she went into her vehicle and tried to get away from Mason. Mason then apparently was able to reach the woman through the driver’s door before she could lock it and throw her onto the concrete driveway, which supposedly caused an abrasion to her left arm and hand.

The woman finished her complaint reportedly stating when Deputy Pollock met with Mason previously, Mason apparently provided the false name of Danny Morris Lewis, which she claimed to know because Mason reportedly bragged about giving the fake name.

Deputy Pollock then met with another complainant who said she saw the interaction between the couple. The woman reportedly told Mason to take a walk and he responded by throwing his cigarette at her. The report then stated the woman went into the house and retrieved a wooden baseball bat in an attempt to protect herself and the other woman from Mason. Mason supposedly then took the bat from the woman and struck her in the left knee and then threatened to hit her again.

A third complainant informed Deputy Pollock that he came out of the residence in an effort to get Mason to leave with Mason threatening him with the bat as well. The three complainants then reportedly walked onto the screened porch to discontinue their interaction with Mason, but he apparently followed the trio, grabbed one of the women by the neck and push her against the wall. Afterward, Mason turned his attention back to the male complainant – who was in possession of an aluminum baseball bat – and took the bat before shoving him to the ground. One of the women then walked outside to the road to call law enforcement but was followed by Mason who took the cell phone and threw it to the ground, breaking the screen. Mason then reportedly left the scene walking south on Southeast 60th Drive with the baseball bat.

All three completed complaint affidavits and wished to pursue criminal charges.

Deputy Pollock then reported that Deputy Sergeant Matt Hurst requested Deputy Brian Cross and K-9 Magnum respond to the scene to search the nearby area for Mason. K-9 Magnum was able to track and located Mason in the bed of a pickup truck a short distance from the scene.

Deputy Cross reported he saw Mason with his flashlight lying down trying to hide. He then reported giving clear instructions to show his hands, and upon non-compliance, K-9 Magnum was commanded to apprehend Mason. K-9 Magnum then reportedly jumped over the side of the truck and engaged Mason in the left buttock area. Mason then apparently tried to get K-9 Magnum off of him by pushing him back, with Magnum re-engaging Mason by way of the left bicep and rib area. K-9 Magnum was then reportedly called off Mason when he began to follow law enforcement’s commands. Mason reportedly received small lacerations to his left bicep and minor punctures to his left hip area and was transported by emergency medical services to Raulerson Hospital to be treated for his injuries.

Deputy Pollock’s report then continued that Deputy Jonathan Kemp was requested by medical staff at the hospital to restrain Mason to the emergency room bed. Deputy Kemp reportedly informed Mason he was going to remove the handcuffs to restrain him to the bed and as Deputy Kemp took off the left cuff Mason snatched his right hand away from him and took off running towards the exit door but was subdued.

The report concluded that photographs were taken of Mason’s injuries from the K-9 utilization and were submitted into evidence. Mason was arrested, transported and booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on the aforementioned charges.

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