ASU's Unlicensed Tattooist Formally Charged

DECEMBER 14, 2006 - Posted at 2:26 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR - An Arkansas State University student faces five misdemeanor charges after allegedly giving as many as 100 students tattoos without being licensed by the state.

Preston Burt of Memphis faces two counts of producing a tattoo without a state license, operating a business without a city license, failing to license his business with the state and failing to take a required course on how to dispose of blood.

The 19-year-old Burt is accused of tattooing students in his dormitory room and other students' rooms.  Police say he charged between $30 and $120 per tattoo.  At least two students told police they became sick after receiving tattoos from Burt.

On Monday, university police seized several bottles of ink, notebooks containing tattoo drawings and other tattooing equipment from Burt's dorm room.  University Police Chief Jim Chapman described the equipment as professional grade.

Chapman says Burt had studied under a tattooist in another state.

Burt has a court appearance scheduled for January 8.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)