MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Three white members of a Florida gang are accused of holding down a black member and forcibly tattooing an incorrectly-spelled racial slur on his neck, police said.
Lucian Evans, 40, Mary Elizabeth Durham, 35, and Brandon Hayley, 28, were each arrested on charges of aggravated battery and armed robbery. A fourth person, 45-year-old Brett Singleton, was involved in the incident but has yet to be charged, police said.
The tattoo on the victim's neck reads, "F**k you, Niger," according to police. Evan told authorities they were trying to discipline Michael Hart for violating gang rules. Investigators do not believe their intention was to insult the West African nation of Niger.
Hart told police the incident occurred when the group showed up at his home the night of January 28 to forcibly cover his "CWB" tattoo with a knife. He told police Evans carried the sheathed, fixed-blade knife, but Evans told police it was Singleton who used the weapon to cover the old tattoo, according to an arrest report obtained by the Miami Herald.
Hart said Hayley and Evans held him down until Hayley knocked him out with a foreign object.
Hart recalled briefly waking up to Durham tattooing his neck. He remembered hearing her say, "I’ve never done this before” and someone replying, “It’s okay. It doesn’t matter.” Hart reportedly passed out again from the pain and when he woke up, his phone was gone.
Hart also told police that "when he woke up, his pants were twisted and his 'butt' hurt," according to the arrest report. He said he felt something wet in his pants and saw what he believed to be blood. "Michael stated he felt like he’d been sodomized, but could not provide any more details,” the report said.
The arrest report said Hart's old tattoo remains visible underneath the new one.
In addition to the charges stated above, Evans was also booked for two counts of second-degree larceny, fraud with a false receipt and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; and Hayley for two counts of battery.
This was Durham's eighth arrest since 2009 and Hayley's seventh since 2010, the Herald reports. Evans previously did three months for grand theft with a firearm and two years and two months for cocaine possession and robbery.