One spring breaker picked the wrong tattoo shop owner in Key West to tick off.
Andrew Villanueva, 22, of Merritt Island got a $200 tattoo of a tribal shark on his calf Saturday night at Southernmost Tattoo, 717 Duval St., and ducked out of the shop without paying a cent, according to shop owner Jamie Snediker of Key West, and a complaint filed with Key West police.
“Bring your punk a-- back to my shop and pay for your [expletive] tattoo!” Snediker commented on his Instagram account, which included a shot of him driving down the Keys and another of the red BMW he got in January.
Using Facebook, Snediker and a number of her supporters hunted Villanueva for several hours into nearly pre-dawn Sunday, as if an alarm had sounded to gather the troops.
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Within a half hour of it hitting Facebook, a virtual posse of locals began posting about Villanueva’s alleged tattoo theft, from character attacks and veiled threats about what happens to thieves to a guess of what hotel he was at and a copy of his driver’s license complete with all information visible.
The online posse even reached out to the man’s father, Greg Villanueva, who responded to many of the strangers peppering him with criticism and questions about his son and at one point offered to pay his son’s tattoo tab.
“OK I understand,” Greg Villanueva posted on a thread that began on his son’s Facebook page. “Jamie, please send me your shop’s number and I will settle up with you and kick his a-- later.”
Turns out, his son’s credit card had been declined at the tattoo shop and he left searching for an ATM, only to panic and decide to take off, according to text messages sent.
Andrew paid up, apologized to Snediker and promised never to make such a mistake again. She told him to tell his father she’s sorry about the online attacks and that she was calling off the police — and to thank his parents.
“No one will come looking for you, I promise,” she texted. “Take care of your tattoo.”
“I definitely will,” Villanueva replied. “It’s beautiful. THANK YOU.”
Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen