ACWORTH, Ga. —
A Cobb County woman bonded out of jail on Wednesday after being arrested for taking her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo.
Chuntera Napier said her son, Gaquan Napier, wanted to honor his older brother who died after being hit by a car, and she had no idea it was illegal for him to get a tattoo.
“It made me feel good to know that he wanted his brother on him,” Napier said.
Napier said her family is still grieving the death of her 12-year-old son, Malik, who was hit and killed by a teenaged driver in Macon two years ago. She has her own tattoos in Malik’s honor.
“My son came to me and said, ‘Mom, I want to get a tattoo with Malik on it, rest in peace.’
What do I say to a child who wants to remember his brother?” Napier said. “It’s not like he was asking me, ‘Can I get Sponge Bob? Like people getting all kinds of things on them. He asked me something that’s in remembrance of his brother. How can I say no?”
When asked why he wanted to get the tattoo, Gaquan said, “Because it represents my brother.”
Napier took her son to a tattoo artist in Smyrna where he got a tattoo featuring his brother’s old jersey number.
Someone at Gaquan’s school noticed the tattoo and contacted authorities.
A 2010 law states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to tattoo the body of any person under the age of 18, except a physician or osteopath.”
“I always thought that if a parent gave consent, then it was fine,” Napier said.
Napier was arrested Tuesday and charged with misdemeanor cruelty and being a party to a crime.
“How can somebody else say that it’s not OK? He’s my child, and I have the right to say what I want for my child. I can’t go tell anybody else what I want for their child,” Napier said.
The Acworth Police Department said it confirmed the charges with the district attorney’s office before making an arrest.
The artist who gave the tattoo is also under investigation.