Boy says he was forced to get gang tattoo

May 26, 2010 at 12:52 PM

FRESNO, Calif., May 26 (UPI) -- A Fresno, Calif., father allegedly held down his 7-year-old son while another man tattooed the boy's hip with a gang symbol, prosecutors said.

"I didn't want it and I cried," the boy, now 8, said in Superior Court Tuesday, showing the jury a quarter-sized tattoo of a dog paw on his right hip.

The dog paw is the symbol of the Bulldogs street gang, The Fresno (Calif.) Bee reported Wednesday.

The boy's father, Enrique Gonzalez, 27, and Travis Gorman, 22, are on trial for charges of willful cruelty to a child and aggravated mayhem for tattooing the boy April 10, 2009 in Gorman's garage. Gonzalez and Gorman are members of the Bulldogs gang, prosecutor William Lacy said.

Defense lawyers said witnesses will testify the boy wanted the tattoo and it wasn't forced upon him.

A key issue is whether tattooing a child qualifies as aggravated mayhem, which carries a life prison term, the Bee reported.

Defense lawyers said the charge of aggravated mayhem usually is reserved for defendants accused of disfiguring acts, such as cutting off someone's arm or burning them.

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