Thompson and Zylstra:
Thompson and Zylstra:
Photos courtesy Angelina County Jail

Jacob Thompson: Cops Drop Illegal Doctoring Charge Against East Texas Tattoo Artist

Last month, we brought you the tale of James "Jacob" Thompson, the 23-year-old East Texas tattoo artist accused of accepting a $20 fee for both illegally tattooing and surgically removing a birth control implant from the arm of a 16-year-old girl at a party.

We also hinted that more details might come into the official record, as Internet commenters possessed of what appeared to be the actual facts were telling a different story. They vouched for Thompson's good character and painted the unnamed as a lying femme fatale.

Well score one for the Web's peanut gallery -- and Thompson. The charge of practicing medicine without a license he faced has been dropped, and pinned on another man -- 19-year-old Robert Carl Zylstra.

Here's how it really went down, according to an arrest warrant affidavit reported last week by East Texas TV station KTRE.

Police say that Zylstra sliced an incision in the girl's arm and tweezed out the device. The girl later told investigators she wanted the device removed because it was uncomfortable. And just as the Internet commenters said, by pinning the third-degree felony practicing medicine charge on Thompson, the girl was allegedly trying to shield Zylstra from the cops' scrutiny. (Some commenters said that the girl and Zylstra are an item.)

Now Zylstra faces the felony rap. As for the hapless Thompson, he is not totally off the hook. He still faces a couple of charges related to tattooing the girl -- inking minors is a misdemeanor, and "East Texas beer bashes" are not considered safe and/or sanitary environments for tattoing. What's more, cops found him to be in possession of a hit of ecstasy.

Which would probably come in handy right about now...


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