Sheriff Watson talks about the day he was assaulted

CLEVELAND, Tennessee (WDEF) – Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson finally addressed the media about how he was injured during a scuffle with a domestic assault suspect.

During a Tuesday afternoon press conference, Sheriff Watson told reporters that on Thursday April 28, he drove into the Sonic on 25th Street in Cleveland to purchase a shake, when he noticed a woman trying to get away from her boyfriend.

“I approached the male and identified myself Sheriff Watson of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office. I asked him let’s talk about this, and he told me it was none of my business and that the girl was going to leave with him,” Watson said.

Then the situation turned physical when the man identified as Gregory Mathis reportedly assaulted Sheriff Watson.

“He bit me several times. He tried to choke me by grabbing my tie as well as kick my feet from under me at one time.”

Two Cleveland police officers raced to the scene to back up Sheriff Watson, but Mathis reportedly put up a good fight. When it was all said and done, Mathis left one officer with a broken nose and another officer with lacerations. Sheriff Watson suffered a fractured ankle and some abrasions.

The sheriff said if he had to do it all over again, he would have stopped at nothing to aid a woman who was being assaulted by her boyfriend.

“When you see something like going on, you don’t drive by when you wear that badge. It’s something in your heart that makes you stop and you’re going to deal with it.”

As for Mathis, News 12 has learned that four days prior to his alleged assault on the sheriff, he was arrested for an assault at a Cleveland home in the 300 block of High Street. Mathis reportedly knocked a man out unconscious and left him bloodied in the driveway.

Mathis remains in jail on a $500,000 bond.

Categories: Bradley County, Crime, Local News