SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio - Dramatic 9-1-1 tapes released by the Shaker Heights Police Department reveal more details about what led to the arrest of a local common pleas judge.
According to an affidavit released by Shaker Heights Municipal Court, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Lance Mason punched his wife repeatedly, choked her and bit her at around noon Saturday on Van Aken Boulevard near Glencairn Road in Shaker Heights.
Authorities said Mason, 46, of Cleveland, and his wife began fighting in their car and the fight turned physical as they drove on Glencairn Road. Neighbors and others walking in the area became concerned.
"They're fighting in the car. They stopped in the middle of traffic and almost hit three cars," a woman told a 9-1-1 dispatcher. "She was hitting the horn," she added.
Eventually, the altercation spilled outside of the vehicle. During a 9-1-1 call, Mason's wife told dispatchers that someone had stopped to help her after she made it out of the car. She added that Mason had driven away with the kids and that the witnesses were driving her to a hospital.
"Nice people in a car stopped. I jumped in," the woman told dispatchers. "I'm afraid he's going to hurt my daughters," she added, and asked repeatedly if police had found Mason's car.
Another eyewitness described hearing screaming and yelling outside his home.
"She ran right into the middle of the street yelling help me, help me--somebody help me."
According to the affidavit, Mason's wife suffered a broken orbital bone, facial swelling and bite marks to her face.
Mason appeared before Shaker Heights Municipal Judge K.J. Montgomery Monday regarding his arrest.
Mason has no prior criminal history, Judge K.J. Montgomery acknowledged during Monday's hearing.
Keller said that Cleveland Police are investigating allegations that Mason was in possession of weapons at his Cleveland home.
Bond was set at $65,000 with the condition that Mason undergoes a psychological evaluation. Mason is also not permitted to see his wife or two children until further order of the court.
Mason is expected to appear in court again Aug. 13.
Mason has served on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court bench since 2008.