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Reality TV Star Buys Local Tattoo Shop

By: Paige Turner

The Salty Sailor in Southside Santa Ramona has a new owner and its Damon “Hawk” Hawkins. Hawkins came to fame recently as a contestant on Season 14 of the reality tv show Inked Master. The five foot four-inch-tall tattooist quickly became a fan favorite due to his open and engaging personality.

Hawkins made it to the final three and finished in second place, though many fans complained he should have won the competition as they felt his work was better than the chosen winner. Gracious in defeat however, Hawkins stated he was happy where he finished and the best artist won.

He had a much-heated rivalry on the show with fellow artist Ramon Campoletti, who often found reasons to demean Damon due to his height. Campoletti’s mysterious disappearance from the show mid-season led to a lot of speculation and unconfirmed rumor that he was actually removed from the show after a physical altercation with Hawkins.

A source on the production crew who wished to remain anonymous said Campoletti shoved Hawkins during an argument and Hawkins responded by giving Campoletti a severe beating. However, when asked about it Inked Master producers would not confirm the rumor, only stating “Ramon Campoletti had to remove himself from the contest due to a family emergency.”

Hawkins is also a member of a 1% Motorcycle club, the Warriors of Asgard. When asked about it during the show, all Hawkins would say was he was a founding member of the club, and currently a Nomad, meaning he has no specific chapter he belongs to.

The Warriors of Asgard have come to the attention of Law Enforcement over the years. Sources inside a Florida Law Enforcement Agency stated the Warriors are heavy into the illegal weapons trade, but there is no evidence Hawkins is involved.

A background check of Hawkins shows residences in Florida, Kansas, Idaho, and now California with no criminal record in any state. So, who is Damon Hawkins? We sat down with him recently to find out more about him and what comes next for him.

PT: Thanks for sitting down with me.

DH: My pleasure, its nice to meet you Paige.

PT: Thank you! So, tell me, what brings you to Santa Ramona.

DH: Oh, I’ve always had a bit of Wanderlust in me. An open road, wind in my face, blowing down the highway on two wheels. There’s nothing better. For quite a while my girlfriend and I have just traveled whenever the mood struck us. We’d find a new town, I’d do a guest spot at the local tattoo parlor, and then it was time to hit the road again.

After Inked Master my girlfriend and I started talking about maybe settling down someplace a bit more permanent, but we weren’t sure where, so we went back to traveling. We figured the right place would make itself known to us at the right time.

Eventually we came to Santa Ramona. I decided to find the local tattoo shop to see about doing a guest spot and found it for sale. I took that as a sign we were supposed to settle here. So, I made an offer for the business and that as we say, was that.

PT: So, what plans do you have for the Sailor?