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Teen's tattoo leads to criminal charges

Posted December 15, 2008

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— A Fayetteville woman wants a local tattoo parlor shut down after her underage son illegally obtained body art there.

Toi Jenkins said her 14-year-old son went to The Ink Well, on Murchison Road, when she was out of town over Thanksgiving and came away with a tattoo on his left forearm.

"That's something that's permanent on his body for the rest of his life," said Jenkins, who noted she had previously told her son he couldn't have a tattoo.

"I'm angry at my son. I'm angry at the tattoo parlor," she said.

Jenkins called Fayetteville police and had Christopher Blayne, 20, charged with tattooing a juvenile and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Both charges are misdemeanors.

North Carolina law prohibits anyone from tattooing a person under age 18. Unlike body piercing, there is no provision under state law for parental consent for a minor to obtain a tattoo.

"It was, like, he didn't care. He took (my son's) money, and he tattooed him," Jenkins said.

Jim Hayes, who oversees tattoo parlors for the state Division of Environmental Health, said a business would be shut down only if there was a sanitation concern, not because minors were being tattooed.

A judge could order an injunction to stop Blayne from working, but Hayes said that's also unlikely.

Blayne said clerks at the front counter of The Ink Well are responsible for checking customers' ages, saying he just does the artwork.

Mike Corbitt, owner of The Ink Well, said he would look into the incident to determine how the teen obtained a tattoo. He said the boy might have used a fake ID.

Workers at Chop Shop, a tattoo parlor in Hope Mills, keep detailed records of everyone who comes in, owner Pam Francis said. Each artist has the customer fill out a release form, complete with an identification number and date of birth, she said.

"You have to show an ID," Francis said. "North Carolina law, as far as I know, is very specific. It says (the minimum age for tattoos is) 18 – no exceptions."

Jenkins said The Ink Well shouldn't be in business if it can't follow the law.

"He's still a child, and he's still my baby," she said of her tattooed son.

104 Comments

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  • TreeHugga Dec 24, 2:12 p.m.

    I would have loved to get a tattoo at 14!! Unfortunately for me there were no tattoo shops in the poo' dunk town I grew up in, so my friends and I had to resort to india ink and sewing needles for our "jail house" tattoos.

  • stanky2 Dec 16, 7:06 p.m.

    Overall, the facts are pretty simple here. She has a 14 year old son who obviously should not be left alone for a large amount of time. Yet her, or the person who put in charge of watching him, did in fact do that. Also this kid got a "large tattoo" on his left forearm. Something that isn't exactly cheap is it? I'm not sure what kind of parent lets their kid run around with large sums of money but I know my mom, who has a son who didn't do stupid stuff, never did that.

    Should the shop be fined? You betcha. Should the kid be punished if he did indeed use a fake idea? Oh golly yes. Should mom have a popular news article on the web because Christi Lowe needed a story and her editor needed to fill space? No. This is the problem with moderm journalism. They write a badly researched hunk of stupid like this so that a bunch of people can argue and drive up their web-hits... which makes WRAL a ton of money!

    Folks. This isn't news. Don't buy into it. It's a parent with a bad kid that was left

  • stanky2 Dec 16, 7:05 p.m.

    tarheelblue919 - Yes it was your mom's fault. She failed at raising a child who understood how to respect it's partents.
    infamousrider - Everyone has kids that fail to listen. Few of them go to the newspaper and try to get sympathy for it.
    yellow_hat - You seriously need to read up on how to make a good analogy. You didn't.
    janeybelle - They don't shut down bars for one screw up. They fine em and move on. You and yellow_hat should get together and create more bad analogies.
    ehutchin - When your friends kids screw up, YES it is a reflection on them. They just don't call up a sympathetic newspaper on a slow news day and whine about how someone else also screwed up.
    paulej - You say that she just expects the law to be followed. So does 911 call WRAL now days or am I missing something here?

    Overall, the facts are pretty simple here. She has a 14 year old son who obviously should not be left alone for a large amount of time. Yet her, or the person who put in charge of watching him, did i

  • Pandoras Box Dec 16, 5:30 p.m.

    We have become the country that likes to blame everyone eles. I can walk through a building, choose to not walk around a bench, break my leg and sue the owner. It's pathetic. It is the mother's fault for bringing this into the news. If her son chose to disrespect her so she should do what my mom would have done and busted his backside. Then - because he is 14 and she is legally responsible I would take him to have it removed. I'm pretty sure that would be more painful anyway.

  • tarheelblue919 Dec 16, 5:12 p.m.

    and furthermore, its not his mothers fault! my parents told me no, but i had a job and a license and knew where i could do it and done it one afternoon on my lunch break there was nothing my mom could have done to stop me. i CHOSE to disrespect their wishes behind their back, so no its not moms fault, its the parlor that ILLEGALLY tatooed a MINOR!!!

  • tarheelblue919 Dec 16, 5:11 p.m.

    i got a tatoo at a parlor in durham when i was 16 years old with no ID, THEY DIDNT EVEN ASK! they told my mom i gave them a fake, she wanted to see, so we went, the man she spoke with didnt show for the meeting and they couldnt even find the paper that i filled out!!! this happens all the time!

  • infamousrider Dec 16, 4:50 p.m.

    Good to see everyone, well everyone blaming mom, has kids that listen to them.

  • infamousrider Dec 16, 4:48 p.m.

    Glad everyone here has kids that listen..

    And tats don't take that long to get.

  • alx Dec 16, 4:44 p.m.

    She left her son to his own devices. she should be charged with child abandonment & 1st degree stupidity!

  • Pandoras Box Dec 16, 2:46 p.m.

    When will parents start taking responsibility for their children? So her son got a tatoo, I wonder where he got the idea, or how he was able to sneak out of the house -- oh, wait mom wasn't even there. He is 14 - way to young to be left alone overnight. Mom should have to take parenting classes for being an ignorant parent.

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