Police are investigating the case of a 13-year-old boy from Centralia, Wash. who received a permanent dragon tattoo while on vacation with a family friend. The boy refuses to name who took him to get the tattoo and which business actually gave him the ink.
"What he thought was a good thing is now turning into a really bad thing, and it is not at all how he wanted it to be," the boy's mother told KING5.com. "It's done. I can't do anything about it. He actually thought I was going to be proud of him."
The boy and his mother have chosen to remain anonymous throughout the investigation, which began when a classmate saw the boy's tattoo and reported it. Police then looked into his family life and questioned his mother.
For his part, the boy will only say that he chose to get the tattoo in honor of his struggle to beat leukemia. He is now in remission and wanted a reminder of the battle he went through.
"He wasn't even two-years-old when he was diagnosed," his mother has reported. "He considered the tattoo his badge of honor, saying that he is a cancer survivor. I didn't want him to do that. I wasn't proud at all. It's an embarrassing thing, and it is a personal thing."
According to Sgt. Stacy Denham, "The dragon tattoo is roughly six inches tall. No minors under the age of 18 can receive a tattoo in Washington State."
Officials have taken photos of the tattoo as part of their investigation, and detectives will formally begin looking into the matter next week.
Just last month a 10-year-old boy was removed from his home after his grandfather took him to get a tattoo. Florida officials did not charge Jerry Gibson with any crime but took his grandson from his home.
"He got his initials out there on the right leg at the very bottom," Jerry Gibson told First Coast News. "I didn't see why a tattoo was such a big issue to begin with, and I didn't see where none of this was right."