BELLEFONTAINE, Oh. (WLWT) – An Ohio teen is facing charges after a now-viral video allegedly showed him giving a 10-year-old boy a permanent tattoo.
The Middletown Journal reports a 16-year-old tattoo artist is facing two misdemeanor counts of delinquency. One count involves the sterilization of equipment while the other count accuses him of violating safety and sanitation standards, according to court record.
WSYX reported Bellefontaine police became aware of the video Monday night, but said the child apparently got the tattoo about a week ago. More than 14,000 people shared the video, leading to outraged calls to police.
“The phones have not stopped ringing,” Lt. Rick Herring, of Bellefontaine police, said. “We’ve gotten calls from several different states from people that are concerned for the welfare of this child.”
Investigators visited the child’s home and found that his mother was aware of and approved of the tattoo.
“The child had actually said he asked for the tattoo,” said Herring.
In Ohio, it is illegal to tattoo a child unless the parent gives consent. Still, tattoos must be done in a safe and sanitary environment.
Tattoo shop owners found the video extremely disturbing.
“It boggles my mind that someone could actually do that to their child,” said Dustin Hysell, the owner of Fate tattoo shop.
Hysell said the video shows the teen applying the tattoo isn’t wearing gloves and that they are in a living room.
“That’s unsanitary for something like that to happen,” he said.
Nick Harrison, a tattoo artist with Blue Byrd Tattoo, said his shop has an 18 and older policy.
“That’s child abuse, I would say,” Harrison said. “We’ve done a lot of cover-ups on stuff that underage kids get, stuff they don’t like when they’re older,” he said.
Harrison said a 10-year-old, even with his mom, asking for a tattoo would be laughed “out the door.”