An Upstate New York mother says the tattoo her 10-year-old son got was a misunderstanding.
Crystal Thomas, a 33-year-old resident of Highland, N.Y., was arrested last month after allowing her child to get a large, permanent ink tattoo at a motel from a man in a neighboring room. Lloyd Police Chief James Janso said Thomas gave the boy permission to go next door and get the body art; the boy got his name tattooed in block letters about 6-8 inches long across his forearm.
Thomas, who was not in the room with the tattoo artist during the inking, told The New York Times that she thought her son was asking to get a temporary tattoo. She said she supports age restrictions for tattoos; the minimum age is New York state is 18, though other states allow children to get tattoos at younger ages with parental consent.
“No little child should get tattooed,” Thomas told the Times.
Thomas was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after the tattoo was discovered by a school nurse when the boy sought to have Vaseline applied over it. The nurse reported it to it a school resource officer who contacted police in Lloyd, located near Highland and Poughkeepsie.
The Times reports Austin Smith, a 20-year-old unlicensed tattoo artist who inked the boy, was arrested and charged with dealing unlawfully with a child. He was arraigned in Lloyd Justice Court last week and faces up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor.
“It’s the worst mistake I’ve made in my life,” Smith told the publication. “At the time, I thought if you got your parents’ permission, you could get a tattoo.”