Tattoo artist, motorcycle club member: Documents reveal background, criminal history of Eastern State escapee

Eastern State Hospital.jpg
Posted at 9:22 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 23:23:13-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - News 3 has uncovered new details into one of the men who escaped from a Williamsburg psychiatric facility last month.

Austin Leigh, 31, escaped from Eastern State Hospital, and hours later, was eventually found.

Court documents News 3 obtained from November 2021 showed Leigh’s criminal history at the time included 17 felonies and five misdemeanors. They also reveal that he was a local tattoo artist and was affiliated with a motorcycle club.

At the time of his escape, Leigh had outstanding drug warrants out of Chesapeake.

Last November’s court documents revealed Leigh faced multiple charges, including drug possession, fleeing from a law enforcement officer and removing or altering serial numbers from a firearm.

According to the documents, on November 2, officers went to Leigh to serve several warrants for probation violation among other things.

Leigh resisted arrest and had a firearm with an altered serial number and what he told detectives was "methamphetamine… for personal use."

During his interview with detectives, officers also noted he was wearing a Renegades Motorcycle Club vest.

Leigh also told officers he has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) related to events from several weeks before the interview, including one where a fellow Renegade member was shot by a member of another motorcycle group.

This, Leigh told authorities, is why he resisted arrest. He added that he had a pistol in his pocket for protection from other biker groups.

Leigh also went on to say three other motorcycle groups “are into sex trafficking.”

The following month, Leigh wrote an email to a woman saying his name is "Chucky,” he's a Virginia Beach Renegade and he owns the 7 Cityz Ink tattoo parlor in Virginia Beach.

News 3 confirmed Leigh was a tattoo artist with another local tattoo shop who did not talk on camera.

News 3 went to the Virginia Beach address for 7 Cityz Ink, but couldn't find the shop.

Nearby, News 3 did find a location for the Renegades Motorcycle Club, but no one was around at the time.

News 3 also tried calling Leigh's tattoo parlor, but no one returned the phone call.

Related: Investigators raid Portsmouth clubhouse tied to outlaw motorcycle gang

Meanwhile, Leigh is currently at Hampton Roads Regional Jail after being booked there on April 28.

Leigh is expected to be back in Williamsburg-James City County Court regarding his escape from Eastern State Hospital on June 16.

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