HEBRON, Md. (WWJ/AP) – Two men are facing attempted murder charges in Maryland after allegedly trying to forcibly remove an Insane Clown Posse tattoo off their roommate’s arm — because they felt he hadn’t “earned the right” to wear it.
Authorities say the victim, 31-year old Zachary Swanson, was so badly injured that doctors were forced to amputate his right arm below the elbow. He remains in critical condition.
According to police, 33-year-old Paul Martin Hurst and 35-year-old Carey Lee Edwards savagely beat Swanson, then tried to unsuccessfully carve the tattoo from his arm. When that didn’t work, the duo allegedly doused Swanson’s arm with flammable liquid and set him on fire.
Swanson was left on the floor for several hours before he was finally discovered and rushed to a hospital. He was then flown to a burn unit in Baltimore.
The suspects apparently thought Swanson disrespected the Detroit-based rap-metal duo and didn’t deserve the tattoo. Police have described the victim’s tattoo as being “consistent” with symbols used by the group.
Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis said all three men, who are roommates, are affiliated with the Juggalos, a nationwide group of Insane Clown Posse fans that the FBI has described as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.”
Hurst and Edwards are charged with attempted first and second degree murder, first and second degree assault, reckless endangerment, and assault with a deadly weapon. A judge has ordered them held without bond.
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