The Yelp reviews for Brooklyn’s Morning Star Tattoo are almost perfect. Customers’ raves about an artist nicknamed “Painless Wayne” basically say it all. Pictures of their ink masterpieces adorn the page: a lotus flower on a hip, magpies on a chest, a bear head on a forearm. But one of the most recent photos, titled “Wayne’s latest work,” shows a photo of a badly beaten girl with two black eyes. It urges anyone with information to call the number of a Brooklyn detective.
On the parlor’s other social media pages, hundreds of one-star reviews have flooded in, along with angry comments. Morning Star Tattoo has since deleted its website and morphed into Bushwick Tattoo, named after the neighborhood it occupies.
The cause for this rating plunge is a Facebook campaign by a woman on the hunt for a man she says beat her so badly she was bruised and swollen beyond recognition. Until recently, Dakota Bond, known by his nickname Painless Wayne, owned the Brooklyn tattoo parlor. But at the onset of his ex-girlfriend’s campaign, he has been on the run, hunted by the NYPD and thousands of helpers spurred on by the bruised photos on Yelp, Facebook, and plastered around New York City.
On January 4, Alexandra Rose Johnson (not her real last name), a 22-year-old go-go dancer and promotional model, was starting her first night at a new job at a heavy metal bar in Brooklyn. Toward the end of her shift she says her boyfriend of three months, the 38-year-old Bond, showed up to the bar clearly intoxicated. He was furious that she wouldn’t leave her post early to go home with him, and when they got back to his apartment it was after 4 in the morning.
Immediately, she says, he began to beat her.
He tied her arms and legs together with chains and punched her until her “skull felt mushy,” she remembers. He removed one chain and started whipping her in the stomach with it. Then, she says, he took out a loaded handgun and pressed it against his head, threatening to pull the trigger.
When she finally got free and ran to the nearby subway station to ask for help, Johnson estimates she had been abused for five straight hours. Bond didn’t follow her.
“He was naked with a gun in his hand,” she says. “He looked like a terrifying psycho.”
An MTA employee called the police and an ambulance took her to Brookdale Hospital’s trauma center.
After she got out of the hospital, Johnson says an officer pulled up Bond’s record for her to look at. Bond’s laundry list of past offenses span from Oregon to Rhode Island. Ten cases against him in Oregon resulted in him spending 18 months in the correctional system and two years on parole for a variety of charges including robbery, assault, and criminal mischief in the 1990s. Over the past decade, there have been 10 cases against him in New York, the details of which are sealed. Until Johnson saw those prior charges, she was only wavering on pursuing a lawsuit.
“I get it now,” she says. “I never got it before: Why wouldn’t a girl do everything she can to get [an abuser] behind bars? It’s because you’re completely shocked. I lost something I did at one point really care about. But now I’m furious.”
Two days later, Johnson snapped a series of bloodied and bruised selfies that have now spread across the Internet and launched a multi-state manhunt for the man she says caused her injuries.
But she didn’t post them, and according to her and the police report, she didn’t want him arrested. Then, in early February, Johnson started hearing that he was calling her a liar and telling mutual friends that she asked to be roughed up, citing 50 Shades of Grey, which premiered one week later.
She says she invited friends to a retelling of the story so any doubt would be erased. (Johnson has been staying with a friend since she returned home to her apartment and found her door nearly knocked off its hinges.) Frustrated that Bond hadn’t been arrested, she decided the only way to track him down was to publish her photos online.
“IF YOU SEE THIS MAN, CALL THE POLICE,” she wrote on a Facebook post that included a collage of photos of her bruised face, lacerated stomach, and Bond posed with his arms crossed.
“I care a lot about my looks and I looked ugly,” Johnson says. “It was hard to put that out there—showing other people is hard. But no one would take me seriously unless they saw what he did.”
She was sure that when the post spread into the insular tattoo artist community wherein Bond is a staple that there would be nowhere left for him to hide.
“I’m putting my pride aside because I realized I have nothing to lose except for him to get away with it as he apparently usually does,” she wrote on Facebook. The post took off with thousands of shares and hundreds of comments—now more than 141,000 people have reposted it.
But in the meantime, Bond disappeared.
A week later, angered by the lack of results, she posted a longer version of the night’s events—a detailed account that stretches from the bar to her escape into a subway station.
“So now that you know exactly what happened, do you think he deserves your respect or protection?” she wrote. “He is not your friend, he is using you and he is running from a long past of torturing and imprisoning women along with a lot of other unspeakable things. Please help me, and don’t make me live the rest of my days knowing that he is free to do this to the next young girl he meets.”
Johnson said she was afraid he’d get away with it again if she couldn’t show what he’d done. She says she “can’t live with unsettling feeling” that he’s still out there, possibly at a bar, charming other girls like she was charmed.
The photos haven’t stayed in digital quarantine. Johnson’s friends have spread them the old-fashioned way, papering New York City’s main streets and subway stations.
Spurred on by reposts from people like porn star Christy Mack, who shared her own story and disturbing photos on Twitter after her boyfriend allegedly beat and raped her, Johnson’s pictures have spread like wildfire on social media. Facebook did such an effective distribution job that Johnson says she’s been approached on the street by people who offer words of support or a place to stay.
Johnson also says three ex-girlfriends of Bond’s have reached out to her. She claims she heard one harrowing story multiple times—that he had chained an ex to a radiator and left her there for days. [The Daily Beast cannot yet confirm this report.]
She hopes to convince them to join the lawsuit against him.
“I don’t want him to go in for a few years, I want him to go in for many years,” Johnson says. Bond did not answer his phone when contacted by The Daily Beast.
“The fact that many people have seen it and no one has turned him in shows he is really hiding like a rat,” she says. “How could no one have seen his face out of all those people?”
The phone numbers of precincts handling Johnson’s case have been posted on Facebook, and Johnson says tips have since flooded in. She believes the cops have taken her case more seriously since she uploaded the post.
“They have so many domestic abuse cases and a lot of times the girl will go back on it and not go through with pressing charges,” she says. “I think the girl changes her mind so much they’re not used to this kind of approach.” The NYPD did not respond to interview requests for this story.
Johnson is antsy for them to find Bond, and she hasn’t quieted down on Facebook. She’s posted multiple follow-up pleas for his friends to turn him in.
“I don’t want to hide,” she says. “I want to have fun, I want to be 22. I don’t want to deal with a monster—I want him to be in jail.”