Alleged illegal tattoo artist behind bars

Photo source: Tyler Police
Photo source: Tyler Police

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - He is accused of exposing East Texas teenagers to the threat of HIV and Hepatitis, and now an alleged illegal tattoo artist is behind bars. We were the first to warn parents about an illegal apartment-based tattoo parlor on Wednesday.

The news broke after KLTV 7 learned one person had tested positive for a communicable disease. Now, the alleged proprietor of the tattoo parlor, Tydreus "Dre" Harrison has been  Friday afternoon by Tyler Police.

Authorities say he gave the tattoos out of his apartment at the Liberty Arms Complex.

"Everybody was doing it," said Treshaun Fortman, 15.

So several weeks ago Fortman says he dropped by Dre's apartment, handed him $25, and had his mother's name tattooed across his left shoulder.

"I seen him do somebody's tattoo...he switched out the needles," said Fortman. "When he did mine, he used new gloves and everything. Only thing that wasn't new was the ink."

His 13-year-old sister says she now has two: one on the leg and one on the stomach. A couple of days ago, they saw our story.

"When I found out about it, I was mad at myself, and I was mad at him," said Fortman.

"Oh, I cried all night," said Tambrea Bircher.

Tambrea says she actually contacted Dre Harrison.

"It's not his responsibility...that's what he told you on the phone," said Tambrea.

State health officials began investigating Harrison's Liberty Arms apartment after one person, an alleged customer, tested positive for a communicable disease.

Since then, about 20 young East Texans have been tested for Hepatitis and HIV. Thankfully, those results have been negative.

"I blame myself, I blame my children, and then, yes, I do blame him," said Jaime Hordge.

Hordge contacted KLTV 7 after she saw our story and then showed her two children. She says they're scheduled to be tested on Monday.

"I hope that this actually sends a message out to all of these kids...that they need to stop being in such a hurry to get grown," said Hordge.

It is a lesson she and her family is taking to heart.

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