The mother of NFL player Tre Mason told Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies last month that her 22-year-old son has “10-year-old’s mindset” as the result of head injuries sustained playing football.
“Tre is not himself at all,” Tina Mason said on audio recorded from a PBSO dashboard-camera video recorded July 27, when Tre Mason fled from a deputy while riding an ATV west of the city. “He’s not making good decisions.”
Mason had been “admitted for evaluation” to a hospital July 23, after his mother had called deputies to her home, saying Mason had been acting erratically. Officers found him with a cut hand that day, prompting his trip to the hospital.
The deputy says in the July 27 video that Mason was traveling at speeds that reached 80 mph as he was chased.
The video shows Mason, dressed in white T-shirt and dark shorts, running into his mother’s home just before the deputy pulls into the residence’s driveway.
In the footage, a deputy attempts to coax Mason outside by saying he’s not going to arrest him, even though he could take him into custody for fleeing and eluding with sirens and lights activated, which is a felony.
Mason refuses to come outside, but the deputy eventually gives him citations and has the ATV towed.
While speaking outside the residence, one deputy tells another that Mason should be in training camp with the Los Angeles Rams, for whom he has played two seasons.
“But he’s (expletive) around over here,” the deputy says in the video. “His career is going down the tubes.”
Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has said the organization hasn’t heard from Mason since the end of the 2015 season. The Rams placed the running back on the reserve-did not report list when he didn’t show up at their training camp July 29.
As Mason’s ATV is being towed away, his mother tells deputies she’s glad they are taking the vehicle.
“To watch it ride away is a blessing, actually,” Tina Mason says.
A deputy tells Tina Mason her son should be playing football.
“No, actually he shouldn’t. … ,” Tina Mason says. “There’s CTE and this head-injury thing. You can say he should be playing football, but this is not what it is.”
CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions. It was not known Thursday whether any clinical diagnosis has been made regarding Mason.
Tina Mason tells deputies that her son’s mental state took a turn for the worse after the 2015 season.
“Clearly, we could see the change,” Tina Mason says. “Like, completely.”
Mason rushed for a combined 972 yards for the Rams in his first two seasons after being drafted in the third round out of Auburn in the 2014 NFL Draft. At Auburn, Mason rushed for more than 1,000 yards as both a sophomore and junior and helped lead the Tigers to the 2013 national championship game against Florida State.
Since the end of the 2015 season, Tre Mason has had a series of run-ins with law enforcement, including a March 5 arrest in Hollywood during which he was Tased after refusing to exit his vehicle
On July 23, deputies went to Mason’s home after family members reported “bizarre and angry outbursts.” When deputies arrived, Mason threatened to call the White House and have them all fired and made comments regarding Al-Qaeda.
“As much as he’s accomplished, as hard as he’s worked, as much as he’s built his character, in record-breaking time it’s going downhill because of what’s going on,” Tina Mason says. “He doesn’t even know. He’s not conscious enough.”
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Credit: DeKalb County District Attorney's Office