Maycon Wesley Carvalho dos Reis, a tattoo artist from the Brazilian state of Sao Paolo, was recently arrested and charged with torture, after punishing a young man who tried to steal his bicycle by tattooing “I am a thief and a loser” on his forehead.
A disturbing video of an alleged would-be thief sporting a “sou ladrão e vacilão” tattoo on his forehead has been doing the rounds on Brazilian social media since Friday. In it, two men ask the 17-year-old terrified boy to tell them what he wants to have tattooed on his forehead, and then force the answer out of him – “thief”. After the humiliating tattoo is completed, they again force him to say why he had received the bizarre “artwork”, and he admits that he had tried to steal a bicycle.
It turns out that the unnamed 17-year-old had attempted to steal Maycon Wesley Carvalho dos Reis’ bike from outside his home, in São Bernardo do Campo, Sao Paolo, on Friday morning, when he was caught by his neighbor, Ronildo Moreira de Araújo, and together they decided that the young would-be thief needed to be taught a lesson. That same day, they tattooed “I am a thief and a loser” on the boy’s forehead, filmed the whole thing, and shared it on Whatsapp, where it quickly went viral.
The boy’s family recognized him and went straight to the police with the video. They said that he was a drug user and had disappeared from the family home on May 31st. They hadn’t heard from him since and were very concerned, especially after seeing the sick footage online.
Police were able to track down Carvalho dos Reis and de Araújo and placed them both in custody, under charges of torture. The two confessed that they had indeed inked the humiliating message on the boy’s forehead, but said that they had let him go after that. They explained the sick act as a “lesson” and a “form of punishment” for trying to steal a bicycle.
As of Saturday, the boy hadn’t yet been found, but as news of the torture he had been subjected to spread around Brazil, a man who claims to have known him ever since he was a boy, started a crowdfunding campaign to have the tattoo removed and pay for psychological treatment for the victim. “All the money will go to the grandmother of the victim, who is responsible for him,” the page states. The goal of 15,000 Brazilian reais has already been met.
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