Showing posts with label Miami. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miami. Show all posts

February 1, 2017

Two Hungarians in Miami Get 11 Years for Importing Sex Slaves

I have been watching this story for a couple of days but it wasn’t until today that there was confirmation from the Miami Herald. I wonder how many other things are going on in front of us and we don’t see it. 


Two Hungarians are guilty of luring young gay men to the United States to serve as sex slaves, a Miami-Dade jury decided late Wednesday.

Gabor Acs and Viktor Berki were convicted of human trafficking, conspiracy and racketeering in a case hailed as a first for Florida prosecutors because the victims were gay men forced to prostitute themselves for months in New York and Miami.

Jurors deliberated just four hours. The two men will be sentenced at a later date but face more than 200 years in prison, if given the maximum.

This week’s trial was the second for the three victims who testified. The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Human Trafficking Unit earlier won a conviction against a third man involved in the ring. In 2015, Andras Janos Vass was convicted at trial and sentenced to just over 11 years in prison.

Jurors this week weighed whether the three young men were true victims of a brutal sex ring — or willing participants who conned authorities in an attempt to avoid deportation back to Hungary, as defense lawyers claimed.

Investigators said Berki and Acs mets two of the victims in Hungary through a website called Another victim was “living with gypsies” as a prostitute, meeting Acs through Facebook.

The three men testified that in 2012, they were flown to New York City to work in what they believed was a legal business in the United States.

In New York and later Miami, the men, then in their early 20s, were forced to live in a cramped conditions while performing sex acts around the clock, sometimes with johns, other times on live web cameras, prosecutors said. The three were given little food and threatened with violence if they left , the state told jurors.

“These victims were no match for these defendants. They were 20-year-olds who didn’t have enough education, who were desperate for money, who came over here without speaking the language, barely any U.S. money to their name” prosecutor Brenda Mezick said in closing arguments.

She added later: “Human trafficking, modern-day slavery, is not tolerated for anyone, and all are protected.”

But defense attorneys blasted the three men as opportunists who turned on Berki and Acs simply to get visas to remain in the United States.

“What they said about the coercion never happened,” said Berki’s attorney, Ronald Manto. “They were doing what they wanted to do and they were doing it the way they wanted to.”


August 25, 2016

Man Caught Eating Another man’s Face Was an Above Standard Student

 Austin Harrouff
One will be amazed that in this environment in which unarmed people get shot to death by police, the latest victim was someone who could not hear nor speak to the cop who stopped him for going over the speed limit, he was shot to death for getting out of the car; The police in this case never shot him with a regular gun instead, tried getting him to stop feeding himself while he was attacking someone else. 
Activists are questioning why police were able to subdue Harrouff during his violent attack with non-lethal weapons while many black suspects have been shot in far less threatening situations. 

Update Aug. 17: Michelle Mischon Stevens, one of the victims killed in Harrouff's attack, was the daughter of longtime North Miami Beach Mayor Jeff Mischcon. Read more about both victims here. 

In 2013, Austin Harrouff was starring as a defensive tackle at Suncoast Community High, a Palm Beach County school ranked among Newsweek's ten best in America at least eight times in the past decade. He'd also been taking advanced-placement classes in the school's International Baccalaureate program.

So it's anyone's guess how he ended up in a Martin County garage yesterday, chewing off parts of a stranger's face after killing the man and his wife and stabbing their neighbor.

Late Monday, Martin County Sheriff's deputies say, Harrouff, a 19-year-old Florida State University student, was eating dinner with his parents at a local sports bar when he apparently got angry about something and stormed out. According to the Miami Herald, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told reporters today that Harrouff had been visiting his Tequesta hometown with some of his fraternity brothers from FSU.

But after Harrouff left, possibly angry at the restaurant's slow service, police found him in the midst of a horrifying scene.

In what Snyder called a "completely unprovoked and random attack," Harrouff approached a married couple — identified as Michelle Mishcon, 53, and her husband John Stevens III, 59 — who'd been sitting calmly in their garage with the door lifted open. Harrouff then allegedly stabbed the couple to death with what cops think was a switchblade. When a neighbor tried to intervene and called 911, Harrouff stabbed him too. 

When police arrived, they found Harrouff "grunting and growling" and "making animal noises" over one of the bodies — while also tearing chunks out of the man's face with his teeth.

Cops discharged their stun guns at Harrouff — multiple times — but were unable to pull him from the man. A police dog couldn't stop Harrouff either. Eventually, it took three cops to pull him away. The neighbor, who survived the attack, reportedly underwent surgery today.

But Harrouff's online presence shows that, as recently as 2013, the college student appeared to have everything going for him.

According to Harrouff's page on, Harrouff had been taking advanced-placement classes at the high school and gunning for a football scholarship before graduating in 2015. According to his recruiting profile, Harrouff was 6 feet tall, weighed 200 pounds, and could bench-press 365 pounds as a high-school student.

Harrouff also wrote a personal statement online:

I am enrolled in the IB program at Suncoast Community High School. According to Newsweek, Suncoast was #9 of 2013's America's best high schools.It is a rigorous academic program and I have maintained a 3.35 GPA. I am seeking to attend a pre-med program in college. I would love to play football in college while attaining this goal.
I joined the football team in my freshman year. I mainly played as a defensive tackler. This coming year, i will be playing on both the defensive and offensive line. I have learned to discipline myself on and off the field. I have conditioned my body in a short period of time to be one of the strongest on the team. I paused pressed 365 Ibs by my junior year. Off season, I joined the wrestling team in my sophomore year and I was the most improved player by my junior year. I will be the captain in my senior year. I placed third in the district. I also joined the weightlifting team this past year and made second in the district. I also have a more current hudl video at
I would be a great asset to your football team. I love the competitiveness of the game and I have the drive to improve. Thank you for considering me.

April 6, 2016

Gay Couple Assaulted for a Kiss at South Beach Speaks Out

A Los Angeles man who was attacked and placed in a submission hold inside Miami Beach's Burger King Whopper Bar last month is speaking out about what happened. NBC 6's Jamie Guirola reports. (Published Monday, April 4, 2016)A Los Angeles man who was attacked and placed in a submission hold inside Miami Beach's Burger King Whopper Bar last month is speaking out about what happened.
The incident was caught on camera and police are searching for the men who attacked Jordan Schaeffer and his partner. "Even talking about it makes me uncomfortable," Schaeffer said.The fight happened around 3 a.m. on March 14 at the Whopper Bar at 1101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach police said.
Gay Tourist Speaks About Attack in Miami Beach
[MI] Gay Tourist Speaks About Attack in Miami Beach
A Los Angeles man who was attacked and placed in a submission hold, inside Miami Beach's Whopper Bar, is speaking out about what happened. NBC 6's Jamie Guirola reports. (Published Monday, April 4, 2016)
It was Schaeffer's first time in Miami Beach and he didn't leave with a good impression. Photos show welts, bruises and cuts all over his face.
“We're in 2016 and especially in a city like Miami Beach, where I thought being homosexual would be pretty accepted, it's just not right that anyone should suffer," Schaeffer said.
The 25-year-old was attacked while waiting for food at the Burger King location which is across the street from the police department headquarters. He said he was targeted because he's gay.
"It was just a simple kiss with my boyfriend," Schaeffer explained. "Then right after that kiss, I started walking over and that's when I was approached by this gentleman."
Police Release Video of Wild Fight in Miami Beach Restaurant
[MI] Police Release Video of Wild Fight in Miami Beach Restaurant
Police have released video and said they are looking for two men after a wild brawl inside a Miami Beach restaurant that began with two men kissing. NBC 6's Dan Krauth reports. (Published Thursday, March 31, 2016) 

Surveillance cameras show a man approaching Schaeffer after he came out of the bathroom. Schaeffer said he used a derogatory term for homosexuals.
"'Why don't you show if you're tough or not you little f----,'" Schaeffer recalle
 Police said one of the unidentified subjects appears to have experience in martial arts. He body slammed Schaeffer, put him in a leg hold and took swings at his face."It all happened so fast once I got slammed to the ground. It's just kind of a blur," Schaeffer said.
He is now back in Los Angeles and recovering from multiple injuries to his lip, nose, face, wrist and back. But it's the psychological healing that needs the most attention.
"The biggest injury has been all the emotional trauma. We were going to Miami for a relaxing weekend and it was traumatizing, to be honest," Schaeffer said.
His lawyers said if and when the suspects are caught, they should face the heaviest charges.
“We believe this was a hate crime against Jordan because of his sexual orientation," Attorney Douglas Ede said.
Miami Beach Police said they're looking for two men seen in the video, who were allegedly involved in the fight. Anyone  recognize them, you're urged to call Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

April 2, 2016

A Kiss At BK Led 3 Attackers to Beat a Gay Couple

 Police are looking for at least one man, and possibly up to three, involved in the violent attack of a gay couple at a Miami Beach restaurant.
A Miami Beach police officer was standing in front of the police station when he noticed something going down right across the street.

It turns out 25-year-old Jordan Schaeffer, who was recently visiting Miami Beach from Los Angeles, had been attacked by a man inside the Whopper Bar at 1101 Washington Avenue at about 3 a.m. Monday.

Surveillance video from the March 14th incident captured the fight take place as more than a dozen people waited in line to order food.

Miami Beach Police said the confrontation happened after Schaeffer and his partner, 25-year-old Eric Danko, engaged in a display of affection. The couple told police their kiss offended a man in a dark shirt and shorts, who confronted them and harassed them “using derogatory words.”

“The subjects in this case happen to be gay individuals and that’s part of our investigation to see what provoked that attack,” explained Miami Beach police officer Ernesto Rodriguez.

That led to things getting physical and within moments, the men were wrestling on the restaurant floor. “Had some sort of exchange with victims, a verbal exchange which escalated into a violent physical attack,” Rodriguez said.

Nearly a minute into the brawl, a second man in a light, long-sleeve shirt and jeans can be seen in the video keeping people from breaking up the fight.  He also pushed away Schaeffer’s boyfriend who was wearing a gray tank top.

A police source close to the investigation told CBS4 the attacker in the dark shirt and shorts appears to be trained in some sort of martial arts or experienced in some sort of fighting.

Schaeffer was left with lacerations to his lip and police are now pursuing the case as a felony battery.

Miami Beach police are working with the state attorney’s office – taking this attack seriously.

“The clear message we wanna give to visitors and residents of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County for that matter is there is no place for hate here,” Rodriguez said.

Schaeffer and his boyfriend have retained South Florida attorney Douglas Ede.  Ede and the police report both indicate the couple believes this was a hate crime.

The brawl left the local community stunned.

“I’ve always had a great experience here,” said a man who only wanted to be identified as Kevin.

Kevin and his boyfriend walked right by the restaurant Thursday night hand in hand.

Kevin told CBS4 Reporter Donna Rapado that in 10 years of visiting Miami Beach and now living there, he’s always felt safe. The violent attack stunned him.

“It is scary,” Kevin told Rapado. “I think everybody should be accepting of who and what we choose to do in our lives.  I mean I don’t always accept everything either but I don’t get violent towards it.”

Another man visiting again for his 60th birthday said the attack was surprising “in this day and age.”

“It is surprising that people concern themselves about what two people care about,” Mark Meyer explained. “There’s a lot of people in the world and if they’re afraid to get out and see it then maybe they should just stay home and not even go to a Burger King.” 

CBS4’s Donna Rapado spoke off camera to one of the employees at Whopper Bar.

She said fights break out there often overnight given people tend to be intoxicated by 3 a.m. But this fight stood out.

Authorities are hoping to identify the young man in the black shirt and jean shorts, directly involved in the fight, as well as the man wearing the long-sleeve white shirt and blue jeans.

Officers said one other man was believed to be part of their group.

Anyone that may know who these guys are is urged to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-8477.  and other sources

Schaeffer was initially uncooperative, but eventually told officers about the incident, police said.
Schaeffer suffered a cut to his lip and Danko suffered injuries to his face.
Victims' injuries in Whopper Bar fight
Both men were treated at the scene by Miami Beach Fire Rescue, but refused further assistance.
Police said Danko was taken out of handcuffs after he calmed down.
They said Danko was uncooperative at first about details leading up to the fight and only said that his father is a federal judge and he was beat up and had "never been in a physical altercation before."
Police said Danko had to be warned several times to calm down and said that he told officers that he was under the influence of  the drug "GHB."
Police were not able to prove that Danko was under the influence of any drugs. 
Officers spoke to the manager of the Whopper Bar who said that she witnessed the fight, but was not sure what caused the altercation to begin.
Police said the couple believes the incident was a hate crime and were targeted only because they are in a same-sex relationship.
News of the attack has surfaced just a week before Miami Beach Gay Pride Festival 2016, which is set to take place from April 8 to 10. 

July 26, 2014

Judge Rules Miami Dade Marriage Ban “Unconstitutional” Do You Hear The Dominoes Falling 1x1?



Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel overturned Florida’s gay marriage ban and ordered that six same-sex couples should be allowed to wed. However, she stayed her own order until an appeals court rules.

A Miami-Dade judge declared Florida’s gay-marriage ban unconstitutional on Friday, in a sweeping ruling that cut a wide swath through American history — from the Declaration of Independence to slavery to Jim Crow to equality for women — as much as it drew from recent Supreme Court decisions.
Preventing same-sex couples from marrying, “serves only to hurt, to discriminate, to deprive same-sex couples and their families of equal dignity, to label and treat them as second-class citizens, and to deem them unworthy of participation in one of the fundamental institutions of our society,” Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel said.
Zabel became the second South Florida judge in eight days to declare that Florida’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection and due process clauses.
Last week, a Keys judge also ruled the ban unconstitutional. That ruling was stayed when the state attorney general’s office appealed, and Zabel stayed her own order Friday pending an appeal, saying she understood her decision would not be the “final word” on the issue.
In the Miami case, six same-sex couples in January sued Miami-Dade County Clerk Harvey Ruvin for marriage licenses.
“I’m excited. I’m thrilled. My phone has blown up with texts and emails of congratulations. I’m elated,” one of the plaintiffs, Jorge Isaias Diaz, said Friday evening. “We came into this knowing it probably would go the long haul. We’re confident justice will prevail and we will go as far as we need to go.”
Diaz and his partner, Don Price Johnston, of Miami, sued, along with Catherina Pareto and Karla Arguello of Coconut Grove; Dr. Juan Carlos Rodriguez and David Price of Davie; Vanessa and Melanie Alenier of Hollywood; Todd and Jeff Delmay of Hollywood, and Summer Greene and Pamela Faerber of Plantation.
Equality Florida Institute, a statewide gay-rights group, also is a plaintiff in the case.
“It’s a beautiful opinion,” Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith said. The judge “states so clearly and so powerfully that marriage is a fundamental right and that denial is a violation of our constitutional rights and our dignity.”
Among other landmark Supreme Court cases, Zabel cited Loving v. Virginia, the 1967 case in which the court threw out all state prohibitions against interracial marriage.
“We’ve said all along that the Loving case is parallel to our case,” Price said. “It just shows that discrimination against any class of people is nothing more and nothing less than discrimination. The U.S. society has no stomach for discriminating against anyone.”
In 2008, 62 percent of Florida voters approved amending the Florida Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The attorney general’s defense in the case cited the vote and said the judge should respect the will of the state’s voters.
But Zabel said fundamental constitutional rights are not subject to majority approval. “A state’s constitution cannot insulate a law that otherwise violates the U.S. Constitution,” she wrote. “The United States Constitution would be meaningless if its principles were not shielded from the will of the majority.”
John Stemberger, who led the 2008 campaign to amend the state constitution, was vehemently critical of Zabel’s decision, especially her reference to the Supreme Court case on interracial marriage.
“Wow,” said Stemberger, president and general counsel of the conservative Florida Family Policy Council in Orlando. “Race and ethnicity are not an inherent property of marriage. Gender, however, is an inherent property of marriage. This is why her reliance on Loving is misplaced. Loving in essence said any man can marry any woman irrespective of race and ethnicity.”
The gay-marriage battle is being waged across the nation. A federal judge this week ruled Colorado’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional. According to the group Freedom to Marry, LGBT advocates have won more than 20 times in federal, state and appellate courts since June 2013, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Edith Windsor, a lesbian widow, and threw out a key portion of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
Zabel referred to the growing number of decisions overthrowing gay-marriage bans in the aftermath of the Windsor decision.
“As case after case has come out, unified in their well-reasoned constitutional condemnation of the deprivation of one class of person’s right to marry, the answer to the question of whether it is constitutionally permissible to deprive same-sex couples of the right to marry has become increasingly obvious: Of course it is not,” the judge wrote.
Anthony Verdugo, president of the conservative Christian Family Coalition, called Zabel’s ruling “corrupt” and “simply illegitimate.”
“It goes against Windsor because Windsor says the states have the right to regulate marital relations,” Verdugo said. “It goes against that precedent. She has inserted herself into that federal document to overthrow eight million votes. Voter rights is a fundamental freedom. She has overthrown and violated voter rights.”
But Elizabeth Schwartz, a Miami Beach lawyer for the six Miami-Dade couples, said Zabel’s ruling “makes it crystal clear why the Florida marriage bans are unconstitutional.”
“Judge Zabel considered, enumerated and rejected the meritless arguments of the anti-equality forces,” Schwartz said. “We’re anxious to move forward to appeal on the strength of this soaring order.”
The Miami-Dade case mirrors the lawsuit in Monroe County, in which two Key West men, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, successfully sued County Clerk Amy Heavilin in April for a marriage license, saying Florida’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause.
After Monroe Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in favor of Huntsman and Jones, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi swiftly announced she would appeal. Her office issued a statement saying that “with many similar cases pending throughout the entire country, finality on this constitutional issue must come from the U.S. Supreme Court.”
By filing the appeal notice, Bondi triggered the automatic stay in the case.
This week, lawyers for Huntsman and Jones asked Garcia to lift the stay. He declined, as did Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal, which now has the case.
A separate lawsuit is pending in Tallahassee federal court seeking to overturn the state’s gay marriage ban and force the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
In her ruling’s conclusion, Zabel touched on the history of “inalienable rights” stemming from the Declaration of Independence, and how the interpretation of those rights has evolved through slavery, women's rights and longtime discrimination against Native Americans.
“Notably absent from this protracted march towards social justice was any progress for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community until quite recently,” Zabel wrote. “However, as evidenced by the avalanche of court decisions unanimously favoring marriage equality, the dam that was denying justice on this front has been broken.”

Read more here:


July 10, 2014

Miami Might Decide Gay Marriage for the State


On Wednesday afternoon, Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel presided over a hearing regarding an issue that has torn many Floridians apart-- whether lesbian and gay couples should be allowed to marry.
In 2008, 62 percent of Florida voters amended the state's constitution to only recognize marriages between a man and woman. This past January, six same-sex couples sued to challenge this law after Harvey Ruvin, the county clerk, refused to issue them marriage licenses.
Some conservative groups, such as the Christian Family Coalition (CFC), feel the voters' 2008 decision will be disrespected if Zabel rules in favor of the plaintiffs. However, the six couples believe their suit transcends state law and that their Constitutional guarantees are being infringed upon by not being allowed to marry.
"We want the legal protections marriage provides for our family," said Vanessa Alenier, who has an adopted son with her partner Melanie. "We are very hopeful and excited for the day we can marry in the state we love and live in. I'm a native Floridian and it's important for me to marry here."
When the couples arrived to the courtroom dozens of spectators met them with applause and snapped pictures of them on their phones.
When the plaintiffs took their seats in the first two rows, a mob of people behind them rushed in to find seats-- hundreds of people clamoring to be a part of history. With a jam-packed room, those who arrived late were sent to an overflow room.
Behind the Aleniers sat Todd and Jeff Delmay, who are also challenging the ban. "It was truly amazing to sit beside my fiancée Todd as the hearing began because it felt that's where we both should have been," said Jeff. "We are fighting this battle together."
After the hearing's start, Assistant Attorney General Adam Tanenbaum, representing the state, told Zabel that it is not for her court to decide whether the voters' decision in 2008 was a good policy but to respect the state's amended constitution. Tanenbaum also argued that the U.S. Supreme Court has left the definition of marriage up to the states.
Jeffrey Michael Cohen, the attorney representing the six couples, rebutted that the amended constitution discriminates against gay and lesbian couples because it robs them of the same basic dignities heterosexual couples have in the eyes of the law. "The majority doesn't have the right to make some citizens secondhand citizens through decisions that lessen their dignity. That's using the majority to oppress the minority," said Cohen in an interview after the hearing. "If [same-couples couples] cannot marry then they don't have the benefits of the laws that protect married families. There are thousands of these laws, ranging from the right of inheriting property to taking care of a spouse who is sick in the hospital."
Zabel noted the recent swell of other court decisions that have ruled in favor of same-sex marriage, including a judge in Kentucky who struck down the state's similar ban on same-sex marriage the day before the hearing. Additionally, she critically questioned the defense on whether Miami-Dade County should only allow potentially procreative couples to marry.
A ruling could take days, weeks or even months. Both parties are planning to appeal if the judge rules against them.
After the hearing religious protestors rallied outside of the courthouse. They are concerned that if Zabel rules in favor of marriage equality then parents will have no rights regarding the teaching about homosexual relationships in public schools. They feel outraged at the prospect of normalizing something they find reprehensible in light of their Scriptural beliefs.

The protestors, many of whom are tied with the CFC, began to cry in unison, "Respect my vote, respect my vote!" Some held banners with the image of Martin Luther King Jr., commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. On the banners there's a message to Judge Zabel, "Our voter rights are not negotiable."
According the CFC's website, "[LGBT Floridians] are legally bound to change laws dealing with public policy issues they don't agree with in the same exact way every other Floridian must do it: put the issue before a vote of the people."
However, advocates of the LGBT community, like the Equality Florida Institute and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, believe the American justice system has a duty to protect the equal rights of minorities and outlaw their discrimination. "It's too much of a risk to solely rely on the democratic process in bringing marriage equality to Florida because there are still very conservative communities in the state that are vehemently against gays and lesbians getting married," said Connie Siu, statewide coordinator for Equality Florida.
A total of 19 states now recognize same-sex marriage and an additional nine have overturned state bans and are currently in the appeals process. In the Sunshine State, recent polls suggest the majority of Floridians now support the legal recognition of same-sex couples.
Even with this shifting of views though, Equality Florida believes those in the state who are against same-sex marriage may mobilize to the polls in greater numbers because they feel their religious beliefs are being affronted.
After the hearing, proponents of LGBT rights gathered in front of the courthouse not far from the CFC assembly. As the opponents shouted, "Enough is enough!" the LGBT activists momentarily silenced them by chanting together "Love is louder, love is louder!"
If Zabel rules in favor of the plaintiffs, then it could mark the first step in having same-sex marriage legalized in Florida-- granted the Third District Court of Appeals and the Florida State Supreme Court (and potentially the U.S. Supreme Court) agree with her decision.

March 15, 2014

It Snowed in Miami Because Strange Things Happen There (“Save Our Children From Homosexuality”)

From beauty queen Anita Bryant to the AIDS crisis to finally passing LGBT rights ordinance 21 years later, the gay rights movement in Miami-Dade has been a colorful battle.  The Day It Snowed In Miami documents the struggle for equality in what is generally viewed as a gay friendly destination, but has a history of being anything but.
The film had the formal premiere in Miami Beach last week, and will air on PBS later this year.
Check out the trailer below… 

September 24, 2013

Miami is Thinking of Imposing one day Waiting Period Before the Needle and the Ink Meet Each Other

home to their parents a little more colorful than when they were in school. You also had the problem of buyers remorse. So from people unhappy what they did when they felt under the spell, to student that were spell for having tattoos that had to be covered and as you know tattoo's were never meant to be totally secret. The idea of a tattoo is to show it and tell a story to the person seeing it. Usually the stories the ink was saying was ’This gal, guy was drunk and he /she is got no taste.

 A distinguished, handsome Italian gentleman saunters into a Miami Beach tattoo shop that's drenched in purple neon light. He's out of place in multiple ways. First off, it's a hot July evening, and he's bundled up in a long beige scarf. Second, he's dressed straight out of GQ with his leather boat shoes and matching fedora. Not exactly the place's typical clientele.
Courtesy of Ken Cardonne at X InkTattoo Studio
Courtesy of Ken Cardonne at X InkTattoo Studio


Suku Rivera, the manager of Salvation Tattoo on Washington Avenue, will never forget the guy, who will forever be referred to as the protagonist of "the Tom story" among Rivera's co-workers.
"I want to make a tattoo for my wife," the European tourist says, referring to an equally gorgeous woman in her mid-50s.
So the woman lifts the hem of her elegant gold dress and bends over the tattoo table. She then gets T and M inked onto her buttocks, one letter per cheek.
In South Florida, tourists looking for a spur-of-the-moment memento can hit up dozens of walk-in tattoo parlors in South Beach and Fort Lauderdale. In the smartphone age, apps such asYelp aid impulsive decisions by providing GPS coordinates of the nearest place to get inked. But in Washington, D.C., health officials are proposing a new set of regulations that could temper regrettable body art. "Think Before You Ink" would require people to wait at least 24 hours before turning their bodies into canvasses.
Were the law to pass here, places in Wynwood and midtown would go relatively unaffected, parlor owners say. It's the walk-in places that dot the Beach (and sate the masses' desire for infinity-symbol and Chinese-letter tattoos) that would likely lose business. So employees there are uniformly opposed to the law, and a mere mention of it tends to draw expletives.
"If people have to wait 24 hours to get tattoos, they won't get them," says Jesus from Circus Tattoo on Washington Avenue. "It's like telling people to wait 24 hours to go to the bar." In his 20 years as an artist, he's aided young women in their quests to ink measuring tapes on their thighs that say "measure before you enter." He's also etched helpful reminders onto women's stomachs, such as "cash only."
Fort Lauderdale's tourists aren't any different when it comes to treating their bodies as temples. J.D. at Bulldog Tattoo recalls four Army buddies who got tattoos of characters from the kids' showMy Little Pony. To make it worse, the colorful cartoon horses were all vomiting.
"That's who's serving our country," he laments outside his workplace on Sunrise Boulevard near A1A.
The common sentiment is that tattoo artists can police themselves. There's an industry ethic against inking the visibly inebriated. "I'm a co-owner of this business," ­Rivera says. "Every time I give someone a tattoo, I'm putting Salvation's name on the line. It's in my best interest not to give someone a terrible tattoo.”
By Allie Conti /Adam Gonzalez

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