|Updated: 11/01/2012 9:53 am
||Published: 10/31/2012 8:09 pm
Young children are tattooed with a gang signs and now their cousin is in jail.
Investigators with the Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office charged 23-year old Rocky Gritts with two counts of child abuse by injury.
Cherokee County District Attorney investigators said Gritts tattooed two young brothers who are five and ten years old.
Gritts told investigators the boys wanted them but the ten year-old told FOX23 News he didn’t want the permanent marks.
"I asked, ‘why did you do this?’ He said, 'they wanted it,’” said Cherokee County District Attorney investigator Mike Moore.
When a school resource officer found a tattoo on a ten-year-old boy at Cherokee Elementary School in Tahlequah investigators went to the boys home and also found a tattoo on his 5-year-old brother.
Investigators said Gritts used a sewing needle, wrapped thread around it and used ink in a bottle on the two boys who will be marked for life.
FOX23 News asked the ten-year-old boy if the tattoo hurt.
“No”, said the boy.
However, the ten-year-old said he didn’t want his cousin who they call Uncle, Rocky Gritts, to ink permanent marks on their hands.
He said he tried to scrub off the tattoos.
"I went and poured alcohol and peroxide and stuck my hands in it," said the ten-year-old.
Now the tattoos are starting to scab.
"To me it's not a big deal like they are making it,” said the mother.
Angela, said DHS is now investigating the case.
Her five-year-old and ten-year-old are tattooed with a cross and three marks around it on their hands. Investigators said they are signs affiliated with a Hispanic gang.
"It's not a gang tattoo," said Angela. "To me for several years they were known as party dots."
Still, her children are permanently scarred.
"I don't know who really did it,” said the mother. "I'm upset over it. I didn't expect my nephew that was raised as my brother to do something like this."
Investigators said Gritts confessed but entered a plea of not guilty.
When investigators arrested Gritts they found a lightbulb they say is used to smoke meth and a syringe.
Gritts is also the father of a baby whose mother, Jodi Rock, 19, is charged with child abuse by injury. She is accused of burning their 15-month old several times with a flat iron in May.
Rock is scheduled to be in court on that case on Friday.