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CENTRALIA, Wash. -- Centralia Police are investigating how a 13-year-old boy got a tattoo of a dragon without his parent's permission.

The boy's mother, who does not want to be identified, said she never knew about it. She claims her son told her he did it because he's a cancer survivor.

What he thought was a good thing, is now turning into a really bad thing, and it is not at all how he wanted it to be, his mother sobbed. It's done. I can't do anything about it.

A parent of one of the boy's friends spotted the tattoo and reported it, leading to a police investigation and his mother's explanation.

He actually thought I was going to be proud of him, said his mom.

From the picture that I saw, the dragon tattoo is roughly six inches tall, said Sgt. Stacy Denham who added that the law is very clear. No minors under the age of 18 can receive a tattoo in Washington State.

While her son was on a trip with a family friend, she said he decided to pay tribute to beating leukemia and overcoming a difficult time in him life with the permanent ink.

He wasn't even 2-years-old when he was diagnosed, said his mother. He considered [the tattoo] his badge of honor, saying that he is a cancer survivor.

She said that her son has explained why he did it, but has been tight lipped about where he got the artwork done.

I didn't want him to do that, his mother cried. I wasn't proud at all. It's an embarrassing thing, and it is a personal thing.

Police have photos of the tattoo that are locked up as evidence. A detective plans to look into the circumstances of the case next week.

It is a misdemeanor crime to give a minor a tattoo in Washington State.
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