Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

October 31, 2012

Charges expected for man accused of tattooing young boys

TAHLEQUAH — A 23-year-old Tahlequah man who allegedly gave permanent tattoos to two young boys is being sought for questioning, according to a Cherokee County probable cause affidavit filed this week in district court.

Rocky Wayne Gritts reportedly gave tattoos to a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old boy sometime between Oct. 19 and 23.

According to the affidavit, the 10-year-old received one tattoo on the left hand between the thumb and forefinger, and one tattoo on the right hand between the thumb and forefinger. The victim also incurred an injury about the size of a pencil eraser to the forearm just below the elbow.

The 5-year-old was also observed to have a tattoo on his left hand between the thumb and forefinger, according to the report.

The court record states the boys were staying with a relative at the Briggs residence where the incident allegedly took place.

When law officials arrived at the scene to try locate Gritts, a male subject closely matching Gritts’ description fled into a timber area behind the house. A search was conducted, but was called off after officers were unable to find the person who ran from the scene.

The anticipated charges include two misdemeanor counts for unlawful body piercing or tattooing and two misdemeanor counts for license required for body piercing or tattooing, and two felony counts of child abuse.

According to Oklahoma law, it is illegal for anyone to tattoo a child under the age of 18 unless the parent or legal guardian of the child is present during the procedure.

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