A fight over loyalty to the Insane Clown Posse led to an attack in which two men tried to scrape a tattoo off their housemate’s arm, then burned the arm when they failed, leading to the arm being amputated.
The attack happened in Hebron, Maryland, where police say 33-year-old Paul Hurst and 35-year-old Carey Edwards attacked 31-year-old Zachary Swanson. Police said the two men thought Swanson disrespected the hip-hop group, known for their violent lyrics and passionate following of “Juggalos.”
Apparently the pair believed that Zachary Swanson did not deserve to wear an Insane Clown Possee tattoo, and went to work trying to carve it off his arm. After several hours they realized that they would not be able to scrape his skin off, so they doused him with a flammable liquid and lit the arm on fire.
“This burning was in an attempt to remove a tattoo that Edwards did not believe that Swanson earned,” charging documents read.
The burns Zachary Swanson suffered were so severe that doctors ended up amputating his arm below the elbow.
“I can’t imagine the pain that the victim went through,” Wicomico County Sheriff Mike told Delaware Online.
Swanson was also beaten with the handle of a yard tool during the attack, and was listed in critical condition. Police said he suffered 11 broken ribs, a lacerated liver, and brain bleeding.
The Juggalos have been known for violent incidents. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has classified Juggalos as a gang, which has stirred a bit of controversy in legal circles. The group has fought the ruling, and with support of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan filed a lawsuit to have the gang title stripped.
From an ACLU statement:
The only way to remedy this injustice for all innocent Juggalos is to start with the root of the problem – the FBI’s arbitrary and erroneous branding of hundreds of thousands of music fans as gang members. There is no doubt that the FBI created this problem and the solution begins there as well. Otherwise, we’ll be playing whack-o-mole to stop local law enforcement agencies from discriminating against our clients, when the agencies are just following the FBI’s lead.
Police said the Maryland attack involved than allegiance to the Insane Clown Posse. Zachary Swanson was dating the sister of Carey Edwards, and the suspects were reportedly angry with how she was being treated. The suspects are being held without bond on charges of assault and attempted murder.