ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An online blog is sparking controversy surrounding a local tattoo shop.
The well-known parlor is being accused of employing workers who have ties to an alt-right extremist group.
Lark Tattoo is a staple in this artistic community. Now the business and its owner are coming under fire on social media.
Tom Martin, the owner and an artist at Lark Tattoo reacting to the last 24 hours.
“It blew up. It just absolutely turned into a wildfire.”
The blog post submitted anonymously online accuses some of his employees of being part of an alt-right extremist group call the Proud Boys.
“We’ve lost some potential customers and we might have lost some regulars.”
The post accuses a part-time receptionist, an artist, and a former employee of being part of the group.
Those who frequent Lark Street having mixed reactions to the news.
“That’s the first time I’ve heard of alt-right material.”
“Yeah, I had no idea either but I’ve heard a lot of people aren’t surprised about it.”
“It’s hard to say without knowing all the details but I kind of reserve judgment until I hear more about it.”
Proud Boys is a national group described by the leader as a “pro-western fraternal organization.”
“Surprised yeah. Am I worried about it? Not really.”
The group has been linked to violent protests across the country but none linking back to the Capital Region.
Martin saying it’s affected his business and he feels it’s a personal attack.
“They just blew up everybody’s lives and a lot of innocent people at this shop, who have nothing to do with anything, have all suffered from it.”
Since the blog post, Martin has posted an apology and statement on Lark Tattoo’s Facebook Page and the two employees in question have since resigned.
Martin says at this point, he just wants to move forward.
“We’ve been on this street for more than 25 years, we love this neighborhood. We love this community and it breaks my heart that we caused all this turmoil.”
NEWS10 ABC reached out to Albany Police, the Albany Sheriff’s Department and State Police. The agencies all say they have no knowledge of the Proud Boys group or any crimes associated with it in this area.