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A man’s arm has been amputated below the elbow after his housemates allegedly tried to remove his tattoo in an hours-long attack.
Zachary Swanson, 31, was “savagely beaten and nearly killed” by Paul Hurst, 33, and Carey Edwards, 35, at the house the trio shared in Hebron, Maryland, said Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis.
The suspects allegedly tried to “forcibly carve a unique tattoo” from Mr Swanson’s right arm in the early hours of Monday.
After failing to remove the tattoo, the two men then doused the victim’s arm in a flammable liquid and set it alight, the sheriff said.
Mr Swanson’s tattoo was associated with Juggalos, cult fans of American hip-hop duo Insane Clown Posse.
Hurst and Edwards attacked Mr Swanson because they thought he had disrespected the group and did not deserve the tattoo, police said.
“I can’t imagine the pain that the victim went through,” Mr Lewis told Delaware Online.
The sheriff said all three men were Juggalos, which the FBI has described as gang-like.
Hurst and Edwards were also angry at Mr Swanson over the way he treated his girlfriend, who is Edwards’ sister, charging documents reportedly state.
After the assault, Mr Swanson was left on the ground for several hours without medical treatment, police said.
He also suffered fractures, brain bleeding, 11 broken ribs and a liver laceration, reports said.
Mr Swanson remains in a critical but stable condition at a Baltimore burns centre.
Hurst and Edwards are being held without bond on attempted murder and assault charges.