A mom has been arrested for allowing her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo — by a teenage artist — because she was allegedly tired of the boy begging to get inked, according to Columbus, Ohio, TV station WSYX/WTTE.
The news outlet reported that 34-year-old Nikki Dickinson was charged with first-degree misdemeanor child endangerment and contributing to the delinquency of a minor after a video of the tattoo session went viral.
Court documents obtained by the news station read that the 16-year-old tattoo artist — identified by the Bellefontaine Examiner as Kyle Richardson of Lakeview — often gives tattoos at his home. WSYX/WTTE also reported that the teen may have tattooed someone who subsequently developed MRSA, a staph infection.
The Bellefontaine Examiner reported that the artist was charged with “performing tattoos in a manner that doesn’t meet safety and sanitation standards, and tattooing in a manner that does not meet sterilization and disinfection standards.”
“It bothered me. I’m a father and I’m a grandfather,” said one law official in the news segment, which showed a video of the boy (whose face was blurred out, along with the face of a woman on whose lap he sat) getting his arm tattooed by a young man.
Last week, an onslaught of outraged Facebook comments led to multiple calls to the Bellefontaine Police Department (a representative of which did not return Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment). “The phone has not stopped ringing,” the officer told WSYX/WTTE. “We’ve gotten calls from several different states [from] people that are concerned about the welfare of this child.”
The Sept. 24 video was posted to Facebook by Ohio resident Storm Harrington. Commenters were shocked by the “ridiculous” incident and someone noted that the artist wasn’t wearing gloves during the session. Others balked at what they said looked like a syringe lying on his table.
A woman on Facebook named Jaedyn Ford, who identified herself as Dickinson’s niece, told Yahoo Lifestyle that her aunt won’t speak to her about the incident. “It boggles my mind that she allowed her son to do that,” says Ford. “It disgusts me — he’s an innocent young boy.”
According to WSYX/WTTE, when officers visited the home of the child last week, the boy admitted to asking his mom for the tattoo. However, when the station’s reporter communicated with Dickinson via Facebook messenger, she wrote that the video was “fake” but refused to provide further details.
Municipal prosecutor Daniel D. Carey could not be reached for comment. However, he told the Bellefontaine Examiner that Dickinson allowed the tattoo to take place in “unsafe and unsanitary conditions” and “encouraged and enabled” Richardson to perform the service.
While Dickinson does face charges, it is not necessarily illegal to tattoo a minor in Ohio. According to state law, “No person shall perform a tattooing procedure, body piercing procedure, or ear piercing procedure with an ear piercing gun on an individual who is under eighteen years of age unless consent has been given by the individual’s parent, guardian, or custodian in accordance with division (B) of this section.”
Section B then states that a parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor must appear in person at the business during the time the procedure is performed and sign a document provided by the business that outlines details of the procedure and proper aftercare of the body area. However, the state laws also require that the procedure meet safety and sanitation standards.