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Bullying case left father 'distraught'

By PAT GROSSMITH
New Hampshire Union Leader Staff
12 hours, 26 minutes ago


A Concord father whose 14-year-old son was tattooed with derogatory words and an image on his buttocks by bullies said the teen didn't tell him or his mother about the tattoo because he did not want to disappoint them.

The boy knew he was not allowed to get a tattoo until he was 18 and he believed what happened to him was his fault, according to the father, who said his son has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and attention deficit disorder. When he told his son that he was not at fault, the teen said he did not want to get the tattoo but was threatened by an upperclassman that they were "going to kick the crap out of him if he didn't."

He was also told he would not be bullied any longer if he submitted to the tattoo and that afterward he could get a second tattoo of anything he wanted. He wanted a Celtic cross with his girlfriend's name tattooed on his arm. He never got that tattoo, but an offensive term and the outline of a male sexual organ were tattooed on his buttocks.

Parents get call
His parents learned what happened two days later in a call from the school resource officer at Concord High School. A teacher at the high school had overheard students talking about the incident, asked the teen about it and then immediately contacted the officer. Cell phone images of the tattoo had also been circulating in the school, the father said.

►4 charged with tattooing teen's buttocks (190)

"Honestly, when I heard this on the phone, I was so distraught I left work immediately," said the father, whose name is not being published to protect the identity of his son.

"I couldn't do my job. I couldn't fathom my son getting a tattoo, but getting it on his rear end and putting those words on his rear end was just appalling to me."

The parents took the teen to a doctor to be checked out. He was physically fine, but it will cost thousands of dollars to remove the tattoo, which may have to be done at a Massachusetts hospital, his father said.

He said community support has been overwhelming. A high school administrator called to say school faculty members want to pay for the laser treatments.

"I think the kids should pay for the laser removal," he said.

The high school, he said, has scheduled four assemblies next week to address the issue of bullying.

Police also called him to say a woman who removes tattoos for the military has offered her services, he said.

The father is speaking out publicly because his son does not want anything like this to happen to anyone else.

His son was doing well with the situation until the incident became public.

"He's overwhelmed with it," he said.

The parents of his son's girlfriend called to say they did not want his son to have any further contact with her.

"I respect her parents' wishes, but it wasn't his fault," the father said. "He's lost his first love over this."

The teens charged in the bullying did not even know his son's real name, the father said. They called him by a comic book hero's name, but now classmates are calling him by the crude name that was tattooed across his buttocks.

The father kept his three sons home from school yesterday because of the publicity. His son is staying at an aunt's house. He turns 15 today, but the father said the birthday celebration may be held at the aunt's because of the publicity.

'Joke' gone awry
One of four young men accused in the tattooing incident said the matter was a "joke that went way too far." Donald "DJ" Wyman, 20, of Concord, told the New Hampshire Union Leader he felt "absolutely terrible."

According to court records, at noon on Monday, May 10, the boy and at least five others skipped afternoon classes and went to the home of Travis Johnston, 18, of 13 Holt Ave. Also there was Blake VanNest, Wyman and a 15-year-old boy.

VanNest used his cell phone to call Ryan Fisk, 19, of 243 Pleasant St., who had a tattoo gun. The teen told police he did not know Fisk's name, but VanNest told him to call him "Daddy" when he arrived. "Daddy" had tattooed a swastika on his chest, VanNest told the teen.

According to records, when Fisk arrived, Johnson went into the house through the front door and then let the others inside the basement through a bulkhead door. VanNest asked the teen whether he was ready and the boy said, "No." VanNest, the investigating detective reported, said he was going to get the tattoo one way or another.

The teen asked what would happen if he ran, and VanNest told him he would catch him and beat him up, according to court papers. But he wouldn't be picked on anymore if he got their tattoo, VanNest allegedly told him.

Police said Wyman took a red permanent marker and outlined the design. "Daddy" began doing the tattoo, which the teen told police was painful, like bee stings. The pain lessened as the procedure continued.

The teen moved a lot during the first 20 to 30 minutes because of the pain, he told police. Fisk told him to stop moving or he would punch him in the face, according to court papers. Frustrated, Fisk asked for volunteers to complete the tattoo, and VanNest took over, authorities said, finishing the remaining three letters, which took another 15 to 20 minutes.

There were other teens in the basement watching as well, but the 14-year-old told police he could not identify them.

Once the tattoo was finished, the boy asked about his Celtic cross tattoo, but Fisk said he didn't have time to do it.

Fisk then asked whether anyone wanted to buy the tattoo gun, and the 15-year-old boy bought it for $30.

Police said the 14-year-old received a bag of marijuana from Fisk, which he considered a reward for having gone through with the tattoo.

The boy took the marijuana and headed out the bulkhead, where other high school students were waiting. VanNest told him to drop his pants and show everyone the tattoo, which he did. Everyone laughed.

Photos circulated
The teen thought the tattoo was going to be private, but then in school the next day, students were showing classmates pictures of the tattoo.

According to court documents, VanNest told police the tattoo was his idea and that he tattooed three letters on the younger teen. He also admitted to investigators that he took advantage of the younger, unpopular and frequently picked-on boy, police said.

VanNest was charged with two counts of simple assault, endangering the welfare of a minor, tattooing without a license, indecent exposure, criminal threatening and breach of bail.

Fisk was charged with two counts of simple assault, endangering the welfare of a minor, tattooing without a license, sale of a controlled drug, criminal threatening and breach of bail.

Wyman was charged with conspiracy to commit criminal liability for the conduct of another and conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a minor.

Johnson was charged with conspiracy to endanger the welfare of a minor.

Police say they expect to charge a 15-year-old Concord boy later in connection with the incident.

1 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
What are 19 and 20 yrs old's doing with 14 & 15 yr old's -- what are we teaching our children these days?  This bullying stuff is getting out  of hand and I think everyone of those guys who participated should be forced to spend time in jail for their behavior; there's no telling what the boy who was forced to go through this will end up doing........
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