By Matt Leingang
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Two high school students are sick after visiting an unlicensed tattoo and body-piercing studio in Colerain Township, and public health officials are warning that more students may be at risk.
As least 150 students from four area high schools - Colerain, Northwest, LaSalle and Diamond Oaks - are thought to have visited the establishment this spring, police said.
Officials at the Hamilton County General Health District are advising the students to see a doctor about possible exposure to blood-borne illnesses such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.
The students all got tattoos or tongue piercings at an apartment in the 2900 block of Banning Road in Colerain Township, police said. Sterilization procedures were lax, authorities said.
Police arrested 30-year-old Tony D. Pippin, the man who lived there.
"This was a word-of-mouth operation that students knew about," said Colerain Police Officer Andrew Demeropolis.
Pippin faces two misdemeanor charges: running an unlicensed tattoo or body piercing business and doing procedures without parental consent.
Each count carries a maximum 30-day jail penalty.
Additional charges could be filed, Demeropolis said.
The two students with confirmed illnesses are awaiting blood tests, Demeropolis said.
He would not elaborate on their conditions.
Police became aware of the studio two months ago after someone made an anonymous call, Demeropolis said.
Police and county health officials told Pippin to apply for a state license and to prove that he had proper training.
Calls about the operation stopped, Demeropolis said.
But on Wednesday, police were called about a student becoming sick after visiting the studio, and on Friday a second student came forward with an illness.
Police, working with area high schools, surveyed students about how many kids may have received tattoos or tongue piercings from Pippin, Demeropolis said.
"Our best guess is 150, but it could be more. We just don't know at this point," Demeropolis said.
Anyone who had a procedure done at Pippin's apartment is asked to call police at (513) 385-7504.
Ohio law requires tattoo and body-piercing parlors to have operating permits and requires parents to accompany their children for tattoos or piercings.
Some areas brace, others aren't bugged by cicadas
Downtown festivities won't be deterred
Owners of young trees rush to purchase mesh
Hey, Carl! Got any Reds tickets?
Tot Lot arrests now at four
One-hued wonder is 1 year old today
IN THE TRISTATE
Two suffer minor injuries in boat crash on Ohio River
Clever set design turns stage 'Into the Woods'
Woman shot, boyfriend sought
Lot sizes to limit 'teardowns'
Finding awaited on CPS contract
Campaign censure tabled
Badge passes, father to son
Hamilton home burns
Two teens ill after tattoos
Exchange mercury thermometer
Deaths of former students unsettling at Lemon-Monroe
'Legacy of love' honored
Norwood likely to ask for tax increase
Ohio State trustees increase tuition 13.4%, citing state cuts
Toledo priest denies murdering nun in 1980
Counties get electronic vote OK
Agencies seek $23M tax hike
Bill would ban military-style weapons
Public Safety briefs
Crowley: Clooney leads race so far - in fund-raising
Churches celebrate new homes
Singer releases inaugural album
Sr. Mary Berenice Byron served college library
Mary Cunnick, 84, teacher at Withrow
State worker didn't bother to process checks for $480K
Pence tells Fletcher foes to 'get on board'
Guide shows area at its best
Ludlow plea-bargain case over
Did you witness Norwood UFO?
Ky. News briefs