Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson Hospitalized; 2 Cleveland Police Officers Injured After Altercation With Man With History Of Assaults

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Gregory Mathis
Gregory Mathis

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson and two Cleveland Police officers were injured Thursday while intervening in a domestic assault in progress.

While driving on 25th St. N.W. Sheriff Watson witnessed the assault, it was stated. When the sheriff tried to intervene, the man involved in the assault attacked him.

During the scuffle the man struck Sheriff Watson numerous times, and started to bite him. Also, the man grabbed the sheriff’s necktie and attempted to choke him.

During the struggle Cleveland Police Department officers arrived to assist Sheriff Watson, and the man continued his resistance. Sheriff Watson and the Cleveland officers eventually placed the man in custody.

The Sheriff's Office said Thursday night that Sheriff Watson was still being evaluated at Tennova Medical Center due to injuries obtained during the scuffle. There were multiple bite marks located on his body along with various contusions.

Cleveland Police Officer Chris Allen was treated by medical personnel for a broken nose, while Officer Kyle Walker was treated for some abrasions. Both of these officers were released from the hospital.

The man has been identified as Gregory Mathis, 23, who has a lengthy history of assaults. His latest incident occurred Monday, when he was charged with aggravated assault and released on a $20,000 appearance bond. Prior to that incident he was charged with domestic assault on Jan. 29.

Mathis has been charged with domestic assault, driving under the influence, two counts of aggravated assault and simple assault.

Sheriff Watson said, "I want the citizens of Cleveland/Bradley County to know that I am in good spirits, and I appreciate all the calls, texts, and emails that have been received through my office. Although I’m currently being treated for my injuries, I’m still in command of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.

"One of the oaths that I took while being sworn in as your Sheriff was to protect and serve this great community. Today’s incident is just an example of what any officer can encounter on a daily basis. My intervening actions to disrupt that assault is what every man or woman that wears the badge is willing to do when faced with that situation.

"I want to personally thank my deputies that responded to the scene along with Cleveland Police Department and Charleston Police Department.

"Also, I want to extend my gratitude towards the firemen and Bradley County EMS who responded to the scene in order to render me medical attention."


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