Daytona Beach community rallies behind tattoo shop owner, philanthropist hit by drunk driver

Business owner known for giving to veterans’, animal charities

A well-known and loved tattoo shop owner and philanthropist is in the hospital after Daytona Beach police said he was hit on his motorcycle by a drunk driver on April 10.
A well-known and loved tattoo shop owner and philanthropist is in the hospital after Daytona Beach police said he was hit on his motorcycle by a drunk driver on April 10.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A well-known and loved tattoo shop owner and philanthropist is in the hospital after Daytona Beach police said he was hit on his motorcycle by a drunk driver on April 10.

Willie “T” Jones’ Tropical Tattoo shop on US-1 is one of the oldest tattoo shops in Volusia County. The community is now rallying behind Jones to help with medical expenses and recovery.

Willie "T" Jones Tropical Tattoo shop on US-1 (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“He has a lot of faith. That’s what’s keeping him going is his faith,” his wife Gloria Perry said.

Police said Jones was riding his motorcycle near the intersection of Coates and Main Streets when a drunk driver going the wrong way slammed into him. The driver was arrested and is facing several charges.

“He’s got four ribs that are broken. They were actually shattered. They cut his left bottom of his lung,” Perry said.

Jones was in the ICU for a week. He had surgery and complications with the surgery.

An online fundraiser is taking donations for the medical expenses, helping the man who has poured his heart into the community during the 31 years he and Gloria have owned the shop. You can make a donation by clicking here.

GoFundMe page for Willie "T" Jones (Copyright 2021 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

“We had a chopper show twice a year and he thought that would be a good way to give back,” Perry said.

The proceeds from those shows during Bike Week and Biketober Fest go to the local animal charities and the Veterans Support Fund.

“It’s often you see veterans supporting veterans but somebody who’s never been in to put as much energy and effort towards it makes it very special,” said Michael Erthal with the fund.

Erthal said Jones does it with a smile every year and doesn’t stop giving there.

“He’ll do poker runs for ill people, sick people, he does a lot for his employees here and a lot of it goes unknown, unannounced, he does it very humbly,” he said.

Perry said Jones’ doctors say he may be released from the hospital this weekend.


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About the Author:

Molly joined News 6 at the start of 2021, returning home to Central Florida.