A tattoo artist has been arrested after inking the words “I am a thief” onto a terrified teen’s forehead after accusing him of trying to steal a bike, police said.
Disturbing footage shows the mentally ill 17-year-old blinking back tears as he was permanently branded with the tattoo gun in Brazil.
Artist Maycon Wesley, 27, and his friend Ronildo Moreira de Araujo, 29, have both been arrested on suspicion of torture after the video emerged.
They were heard laughing in the footage as the Portuguese words Eu sou ladrão e vacilão, which translate to “I am a thief and a loser”, were scarred into the boy’s skin.
After inking him, Wesley made the embarrassed teen look at the camera and asked whether he liked the new tattoo.
Wesley added: “Here the guy came here in the best of good will, so nice, we (sic) did a tattoo for him. He wanted”.
Authorities believe the tattoo was done as a form of “punishment”, according to Estado.
The pair are understood to have accused the teen of trying to steal a disabled man’s bike.
His family contacted police after seeing the video of the inking which was shared widely on WhatsApp.
“He is upset that he does not want anyone to see his face,” one family member said.
The boy, who is understood to suffer from mental issues, is now recovering at his grandmother’s house.
His uncle told G1: “He’s very well-liked in the neighbourhood and many people started looking for him, they came to tell us where he was and his friends went to pick him up, and now he’s at his grandmother’s house, resting.”