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Guy who defended Waynesboro vice mayor with double-bird jailed on assault conviction

Chris Graham
mason pickett
Mason Pickett, behind the blur from the City of Waynesboro YouTube channel, gives two middle fingers to Waynesboro City Council members at Monday’s meeting. Photo: City of Waynesboro/YouTube

The guy who occasionally stands at the intersection of Rosser Avenue and Lew Dewitt Boulevard in Waynesboro with crude signs mocking Democrats and liberals and memorably came to the defense of Vice Mayor Jim Wood by flashing a double-bird at Waynesboro City Council is in jail after being convicted of assault in a Charlottesville court.

Mason Pickett, 70, was immediately remanded to the Charlottesvile-Albemarle Regional Jail after Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr. found him guilty in an April case on Tuesday, per a report from the inestimable Hawes Spencer in the Daily Progress.

Padrick sentenced Pickett to 60 days, with 50 days suspended.

According to Spencer’s report, Pickett, who represented himself in the case, tried to ask the judge, after the ruling was handed down, for a delay so that he could arrange for home electronic incarceration, but Padrick refused, and had a bailiff lead Pickett away.

It was a fitting conclusion to the latest criminal case against Pickett, previously convicted on two occasions on assault charges after public tussles involving his signs, though he had been able to get out of having to serve time in jail on those two.

In a 2019 case, Pickett was fined for ramming his shoulder into a man who was commemorating the second anniversary of the death of Heather Heyer during the Unite the Right rally.

According to media reports, Pickett, trying to position a sign reading “Idiot” with an arrow for photographers, plowed into the victim, whose sin that day was having a different point of view on the murder of an activist by an avowed white supremacist.

He got a $100 fine for that one, then was handed a 30-day suspended sentence in 2021 for attacking a woman who had accidentally bumped into him in front of Bodo’s Bagels on The Corner.

According to a police report in that case, Pickett hit the victim multiple times with a protest sign, before being pulled off the woman by two passersby, one of whom happened to be former Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo, who is now the chief of police at UVA.

Pickett had previously been acquitted in two other trials in similar incidents, both of which were reported in 2017.

Those on our side of the Blue Ridge had the misfortune of being exposed to his antics on the random days that he took up residence on the corner of Rosser and Dewitt in Waynesboro to draw attention to himself and his signs with messages including “Pelosi, bitch” are “Fuck Biden,” as well as the one on which he misspelled the first name of local activist and 2022 congressional candidate Jennifer Lewis as “Jennerfer,” apparently trying to link Lewis to transgender activist Caitlyn Jenner.

Pickett also volunteered himself as a public advocate for embattled Waynesboro Vice Mayor Jim Wood at the height of the controversy earlier this year over Wood’s homophobic slur of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, giving a double-bird to members of Waynesboro City Council as part of his defense.

“Who are these people that are after him? They’re the same people that when I hold a sign down on the corner, that on Sunday, Sunday of all days, ride by in their Lexus and Mercedes and their Land Rovers, in their nice little black dresses with pearls, and ride by and, I’m number one,” Pickett said, flashing his middle fingers at City Council members at the body’s Feb. 27 meeting.

In the case that finally landed him jail time, Pickett bruised and bloodied a forearm of an 18-year-old woman in the midst of an angry confrontation on The Corner on April 15 as the woman and her then-boyfriend verbally confronted Pickett for his sign’s message: “LEFTIST PROFESSORS SUCK.”

Per Spencer’s report, Pickett tried to frame the case as a free-speech issue, leading to this classic exchange between the defendant and the judge.

“I want to express my freedom of speech, but I will hang up my signs because you can’t do it around here,” Pickett said he was found guilty.

“You assaulted this lady,” Padrick said in response.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].