Photos of a young dad’s face before it was tattooed in jail went viral on social media.
Mark Cropp said he had a hard time finding a job after tattooing “DEVAST8” across his jaw on a drunken night in jail, Daily Mail reported. After a Facebook plea for employment, Cropp said he received so many job offers that he stopped counting when the number reached 45.
Cropp’s brother reportedly designed the tattoo to make him look tough after he landed in jail for a string of violent offenses. The tattoo was meant to be small, but the brothers got carried away while drinking homemade alcohol in jail made from fermented apples, sugar and bread.
“I went into jail with four tattoos and I came out with a full body suit,” Cropp told the Daily Mail.
“A week before I got out I taped a picture of my face to the inside of an envelope so my partner could see it — she was devastated, but now she likes it and can’t see me without it.”
The tattoo was inspired by Cropp’s nickname.
“There was a long time there where I would devastate everything I touched,” he explained. “I would end up devastating everyone I met or got close to.
“They would be disappointed with something I had done or said,” he added. “I was always hearing, ‘That’s devastating.'”
Pictures of the New Zealand before his ink job later surfaced online — showing a baby-faced “DEVAST8” before he went to jail.
Despite all the job offers, Cropp said he hadn’t yet “done a day’s work.”
“I am just waiting for the right one to come about,” he said, adding that many of the jobs required that he have a car.
“Until I get my first paycheck and get a car I won’t be able to get myself around,” he said.
Cropp said he also planned on having the tattoo removed.
“I am just working out a date to get it taken off, which sucks because it is going to hurt,” he admitted. “And because this tattoo means something to me and my brother did it for me, so it is hard to make the decision to get rid of it.”
“But I know it is the best thing for my future, and I want to be a person my family can look to for support,” the 19-year-old added
Cropp was jailed in 2015 at age 17 for aggravated robbery, the New York Post reported. He pleaded guilty to a range of criminal charges at the time, including aggravated robbery, escaping custody and assault with a weapon.
Cropp said he committed the crimes to support himself and his pregnant girlfriend after his parents’ kicked the couple out of their home. He said hoped to make some positive changes in his life.
“I have [learned] from my mistake,” he said. “I still don’t think people should be judged by the tattoos on their face, but I know it will keep happening unless I do something about it.”