Tattoo shop owner uses humor to turn around misfortune
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The owner of the Happy Tattoo says he was just finishing up his night at work when a truck slammed into the building inches away from where he was standing.
“I thought maybe there was an earthquake or something like that,” said Chris Partain, owner of Happy Tattoo.
Right now, his office upstairs at Happy Tattoo in Albuquerque isn’t safe. That’s because it’s on top of a brick exterior wall, caved in and crumbled.
“If it was drywall and 2×4’s I don’t know if I’d be standing here right now. 1901 craftsmanship worked out pretty good,” said Partain.
On the very first day of this year, he says a teenage driver crashed a truck into Partain’s business near 6th Street and Lomas.
Right outside the building, he says you could see a path of destruction after the teen hit two vehicles and a pole.
“Two of the girls walked out, thankfully they were still alive. But they left in an ambulance,” Partain said.
Fortunately, Partain wasn’t hit. Although, he says the truck came just inches away from him, and slammed into the desk he was working at minutes earlier.
“I was leaning on the counter, and it shot the counter from under my elbows, and it hit the other wall. And that’s when I said I jumped backwards because this was coming in like this. It was the biggest boom I ever heard,” said Partain.
A police report shows the driver was just 17 years old. Partain says alcohol was a problem.
“He was blackout drunk. He kept hugging me and asking me if I could get him home,” Partain said.
As the shock began to wear off the next day, Partain grabbed some spray paint.
“I spray painted, ‘Tattoos so good you’ll want to ram into a wall,’ to make a joke out of this whole thing, trying to find some humor in the whole thing. I didn’t realize the impact it would have, it’s been crazy actually,” he said.
He says it’s gotten a lot of attention on social media and brought in a lot of new customers.
“Now I just need a place to work on them, so I need to get his place fixed, so I can tattoo everybody,” said Partain.
Partain says he’s still waiting on the insurance to come back to see if those repairs will be covered.
Because the crash involved a juvenile, KOB 4 can’t easily access the records. We’re still waiting for an update on the status of the case.