Unlicensed tattoo parlor has inked ‘hundreds’

County officials concerned about possible health risks


In more than three years, “hundreds” of people were inked at an unlicensed Maumee tattoo parlor, health department officials said.

There’s no telling just how many tattoos were done at Juki’s Tattoo shop, 2570 Parkway Plaza, since the operator’s license expired in 2010, but officials said they are concerned about possible health risks for those individuals.

Because Juki’s, owned by Kirk Summey, 51, has been operating without a license, which is illegal, it doesn’t have to comply with the health and sterilization protocols established by Ohio law, said Dr. David Grossman, health commissioner at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.

Possible health risks include bacterial infections, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Dr. Grossman said anyone who received a tattoo from Juki’s after October, 2009, should call the health department at 419-213-4132 and follow up with a doctor.

The health department does regular inspections of tattoo parlors across the county and has been “closing [Juki’s] down almost continually since 2009,” Dr. Grossman said.

Dr. Grossman said officials would “put up signs and he’d put the signs away and put up different operating hours.”

Dr. Grossman said that an “undercover” investigation, by the health department and Maumee police, was needed to show that people were able to get tattoos at the shop.

Maumee police Sgt. T.J. Stratton did not have any information about the investigation.

The last time officials were at the shop, they confiscated tattooing equipment, hoping to put an end to the illegal tattooing.

Mr. Summey did have his expired license hanging on a shop wall, Dr. Grossman said.

“I’m not sure people realize to look at that discriminately,” Dr. Grossman said.

A license is good for one year and costs $600.

No charges have yet been filed against Mr. Summey, but Dr. Grossman said the case has been forwarded to the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office. Mr. Summey could not be reached Monday.

Dr. Grossman was not aware of any specific complaints lodged against the shop and said no cases of illness or infection have yet been linked to the shop.

A “plethora” of people have contacted the health department since Monday; Dr. Grossman said the calls were “mostly panic.”

There are 25 licensed tattoo shops in Lucas County, Dr. Grossman said.

— Taylor Dungjen