Supremacist spread exemplified by tattooed baby

Associated Press/September 7, 2002

Ogden, Utah -- Police have known for some time there is a growing population of white supremacists along the Wasatch Front, and the depth of devotion to that cause was shown by the Logan parents who tattooed a swastika on the back of their 8-month-old child's head.

The issue was discussed at the Northern Utah Gang and Youth Violence Conference, which ended Thursday.

A home-care nurse in Logan said she visited a home earlier this year. The mother answered the door holding the baby.

"I just couldn't believe what I was seeing," said the nurse, who was at the conference but asked not to be identified.

On the back of the child's head was a tattooed swastika about the size of a quarter. It was detailed, colored and very prominent.

The mother refused to let the nurse in the house, but the nurse noticed flags with swastikas and other such items hanging on the walls and scattered throughout the room.

The nurse said she reported the incident to the Division of Child and Family Services, which said though it is shocking to tattoo a child, it was not child abuse.

Ogden police Lt. Loring Draper said the number of white supremacist groups is growing in northern Utah through recruiting efforts and an increasing population of prison parolees assigned to an Ogden halfway house.

But he said he "doesn't want to put everybody in a panic. These guys are a concern, but they are not a major, major issue."

Many white supremacists are moving away from more heavily populated areas of Ogden and Salt Lake City to rural areas of Box Elder or Cache counties.

Davis County authorities said a branch of Soldiers of Aryan Culture, a growing white supremacist group with ties in Ogden, has been rumored to be meeting frequently in Sunset.

"Some of these guys are starting to sport tattoos across the back of their heads that say 'Sunset,' " said Davis County sheriff's Detective Ty Berger.

State Corrections officials 352 documented white supremacists have been incarcerated within the past few years at the Point of the Mountain prison. Of those people, 200 are still incarcerated and 152 are on the streets, 84 of them in Ogden.

"But that number is extremely low," said Brent Jex, detective with the Salt Lake Area Gang Project. He said documented members are constantly bringing in new people through an initiation process involving committing some type of violent crime.

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