HCPD arrests Socastee man for tattooing minors

Robert Kenneth Baker (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Robert Kenneth Baker (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) After noticing fresh tattoos on high school-aged girls, reports from a concerned parent and school employee have lead to the arrest of a Socastee man for tattooing.

The first sign of alarm was presented to a school nurse over two weeks ago, who noticed a fresh tattoo below the waist line of a minor student, according to the police report obtained by WMBF News.

The 16-year-old student visited the school nurse for ointment to place on the new tattoo because it was irritated, but had attempted to conceal her freshly inked skin.

The report says the school nurse notified the student's mother about her discovery, and the mother reports noticing two hearts tattooed below her daughter's waist line when she picked her up from school.

The student reported that she went to a home off of Peachtree Lane to provide moral support to a friend who wanted a tattoo but was coaxed into receiving one for herself.

The tattoo artist, identifying himself as "Bob Barker," told the minor females that he had been in trouble before for provide tattoos to individuals who were underage. According to the victim, he also said he would not tattoo them without forged notes from their parents.

The victim says her friend wrote her note and signed her mother's name.

The tattoos reportedly costs $40 for the friend but the victim received hers free of charge in the bedroom of the tattoo artist's mobile home.

The report further states that the suspect was smoking marijuana while tattooing the girls, because he told them he has anxiety. The victim claimed his room was full of drug paraphernalia.

The victim said the suspect gave her ointment for the tattoo but told her nothing else about caring for it. The victim reported to her school nurse the following day.

After the victim's mother reported the incident to police, the victim provided directions to the incident location.

The suspect, 28-year-old Robert Kenneth Baker, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with three counts of tattooing. His bond has been set at $4,500.

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