Van Dralan Dixson, the neighborhood watch volunteer now tied by DNA to four South Dallas rapes, is out of jail and on the run. Alan Mason, the silver Honda-driving, oval glasses-wearing man whom police publicly identified as a "person of interest" before the results of the DNA test came in, is not. He's still stewing in Lew Sterrett on a probation violation (he reportedly fell behind on court costs) on a DWI conviction. And he's not terribly happy about it.
"It's very unprofessional, lazy police work," Mason told CBS 11. "It's injustice to me."
Mason, assuming, as seems increasingly likely, that he is ultimately cleared of wrongdoing, has a point on that last part, which he made in jailhouse interviews with the four major local TV news stations and The Dallas Morning News.
"They don't have to call me a suspect," he told WFAA. "Just by putting my picture by that type of, you know, those crimes, I'm automatically a suspect in the public's eye. It's now like I'm guilty until I'm proven innocent. They didn't call me a suspect, no. But they put my picture up. If I'm not a suspect, why did you put my picture up like that?"
Mason, aside from the DWI conviction from 2010, has a clean criminal record. The 29-year-old is an insurance salesman with a master's degree in criminal justice. He's the father of an 8-year-old. He tells NBC 5 that his grandmother owns a gray Honda sedan but that he hasn't driven it in more than a year.
Particularly galling to Mason, according to the News, is that Police Chief David Brown tweeted his name and picture.
"Why would he do this to me?" Mason asked. "I don't deserve this. I'm very respectful to females. I have three sisters and a daughter. I don't even cuss at females. And so for him to attach that to me, it's just devastating."
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.