CORRECTION: The previous headline and first paragraph of this story misstated the race of the victim. Michael Hart is a white man.
White members of a gang forcibly covered a fellow gang member’s gang tattoo with a phrase including a racial slur, according to Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
The evidence on Michael Hart’s neck said, “F--- you, Niger.”
According to what police say Lucian Evans told them, he, Brandon Hayley, Brett Singleton and Mary Elizabeth Durham were trying to discipline Hart, not insult an African nation. Hart had violated gang rules, Evans said.
Even if between gang members, this kind of activity violates rules in every jurisdiction in the United States.
Durham, 35, was arrested for aggravated battery and armed robbery, her eighth arrest since 2009. The seventh arrest since 2010 for Hayley, 28, was on two counts of battery, one count each of aggravated battery and armed robbery.
Evans, 40, was booked for aggravated battery, armed robbery, two counts of second-degree larceny, fraud with a false receipt and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. Evans did three months for grand theft with a firearm and two years and two months for cocaine possession and robbery.
Singleton, 45, has yet to be charged in this incident, which occurred in Salt Springs Jan. 28.
Hart told police the charged trio and Singleton showed up at his home that night, shut the door and demanded he go with them to cover his gang tattoo or patch, “CWB.” He recalled Evans putting his hand on a sheathed, fixed blade knife. Evans later told police that Singleton had the knife.
“Why can’t you cover my patch right where I’m sitting?” Hart said he asked.
He said Hayley and Evans held him down while Singleton began covering the tattoo. But Hart still struggled and fought so, he said, Hayley knocked him out with a foreign object.
Hart recalls fading back in briefly to Durham doing the tatting and saying, “I’ve never done this before” and someone replying, “It’s okay. It doesn’t matter.”
Hart told police he passed out again from the pain. When he woke up, his phone was gone as well as any sense of comfort.
“...when he woke up, his pants were twisted and his ‘butt’ hurt,” the arrest report said. “(Hart) stated he was wearing blue jeans and felt something wet in his pants. (Hart) stated when he looked at his pants, he saw what he believed to be blood. Michael stated he felt like he’d been sodomized, but could not provide any more details.”
The arrest report said the old tattoo was visible under the new one.