This past Tuesday tattoo artist Justin Winter, Mishele Dupree, and a friend were walking on South 19th and Martin Luther King Way. They were approached by a group of young people. There were at least 15 of them. Justin had refused to give one of them a cigarette a few nights before.
The girls with Justin managed to escape with bruises. Justin was not so lucky. He was knocked to the ground and repeatedly stomped in the face and hands and left with a jaw broken in multiple places and numerous other injuries. He’s finally being released from the hospital today.
The attack occurred on a busy street. The nearest police station was only two blocks away. While the Hilltop neighborhood is notorious for crime from the gang violence of the early 1990s, Hilltop has changed dramatically since then. And violent attacks such as this are rare.
This crime is eerily reminiscent of the 2000 beating death of Eric Toews. In that case, it was one of a series of attacks by the same group of teenagers. I’ve spoken with the Tacoma Police Department and have been told that similar attacks have not occurred lately.
As one might expect, the injuries Justin has sustained are resulting in substantial financial hardships. There is a fundraising page set up for Justin at the link below. If you have the means, please donate what you can.
– Jack Cameron