A while back, we published this blog about a former vape shop owner who was accused of never paying his employees, operating an illegal pot delivery service out of said failed shop, and blowing all of the proceeds on his then-girlfriend, this lovely young, tall glass of class and poise.
All that Gucci, and not one sandwich for the poor girl. Shame.
Immediately upon the release of this blog, Christina began messaging our page, insisting that she was with us 100% regarding our portrayal of Josh, and insisting she had nothing to do with any of his shenanigans, despite posts like this:
In fact, she claimed that Josh was abusive to her,
And offered up extremely compelling evidence, like a couple of suspicious-looking selfies,
And a typed letter, purportedly from Josh, although – who knows?
Seems legit. She then had me call her, but insisted that I first speak to some guy named Erik from San Diego, who was apparently her new boyfriend.
Erik is Erik Hutchinson, this guy:
A 42 year-old self proclaimed “Proud Father, Communitiy Activist, Small Business Advocate & Entrepreneur.” Spoiler alert – he’s actually none of those things. But we’ll get to that later.
Erik spoke to me and insisted that Christina was entirely an innocent victim of Josh’s, who was battered, abused, controlled and intimidated into buying stuff for herself with her parent’s money and then publicly thanking Josh for it. The entire story made little sense, and I decided to promptly hang up, file the whole thing under “crazy shit junkies say”, and move on with my life. Well, yesterday Erik popped back up – singing a slightly different tune.
He sent this video, which appears to be a heated argument between members of the Tsatsis family while Erik cowers in the bathroom like a bitch, then comes out and gets pushed around by a Walking Dead extra.
Well, then. Okie dokie. He then continues on to accuse the Lynnfield police of covering up the theft of $10,000 of his video equipment, which apparently consists of this:
And then sent another odd video of himself cowering like a scared stepchild while the adults loudly bickered.
I quickly recognized him from our conversation back in November, when he proclaimed her innocence and insisted she was a victim.
And insisting the Lynnfield police were involved in a nefarious coverup to deprive him of his belongings, because Christina’s parents own a pizza shop. Of course.
Nothing says “Power and influence” quite like a large pepperoni pie and some Baklava, pickup or delivery. That has to be the reason the police allegedly threatened to arrest him, and nothing to do with him calling them over, and over, and over with a shady story before ultimately threatening to go to the newspapers with this totally plausible tale that clearly doesn’t have more to the story than what he’s willing to tell, like a totally sane person would.
He then directed me to a live feed on his Facebook page he had been forced to post in an attempt to solicit “favors” from his following,
But, by all appearances, what he actually meant by “favors”, was pity cash.
It was a little confusing for me, considering this guy spent a good deal of time sending me screenshots of his self-reported massive online following, touting his “big name in the vape industry”, and talking about the three Vape Manufacturing companies he claimed to own.
Not only does that have no bearing whatsoever on the story he was trying to tell, it’s not entirely true…not at all. And with an audience that he claims to be 10 times what ours is, what does he need us for, exactly? Well, in his words, apparently our audience is more inclined to help people like him, in situations such as this.
Sorry, Erik, but you’re incorrect. Generally speaking, our audience is not particularly inclined to donate money to suspicious-looking junkboxes going through the motions of a volatile and presumably drug-fueled breakup with the mascot for Methadone Mile. I don’t know where you got that from. You might be asking yourself “Why the harsh judgment on Erik, Bristol? He’s obviously a legitimate business owner who just happens to somehow inexplicably be unable to get himself out of Massachusetts and back to California, and is worried about ending up in a homeless shelter.” Well, here’s exhibit A:
Just look at him. And, about those businesses he claimed to own? His “big name” in the vape industry? Turns out Erik may have fudged a detail or two there.
Whoops, turns out all those screenshots he sent me of his social media following are actually for companies he no longer is associated with. And his answer to what happened to them? Patently untrue. Let’s start with AmeraVape, a company started by Erik and Kyle Kruger, which was closed down around 2014-2015. Erik forgot to mention the part where they were sued into oblivion by a company called AmeriVape for copyright infringement, after it was discovered they essentially pirated AmeriVape’s good name and reputation in a shady attempt to peddle their own shitty products, as reflected in this 2015 court filing.Amerivape_Inc_v_Kruger_et_al__nysdce-15-01874__0044.0
Hutchinson and Kruger were found liable for a $400,000 judgement and court ordered as “permanently enjoined using the terms “Ameravape,” “Amerivape” or any confusingly similar variation of such term in connection with a business, corporation, trade name or domain name, and from engaging in future violations of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), 15 U.S.C. § 1114, 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (a), New York General Business Law §§ 133, 360-K, and 360-L, and Misappropriation under New York Common Law Unfair Competition.”
He then rebranded to Avid Lyfe, which apparently also didn’t go well for Erik, as he was essentially too unstable both publicly and privately to continue with the brand. You can hear his batshit, paranoid version here:
Or his sister and former business partner, Lindsey Hunziker’s, slightly more level-headed and document-backed version here:
Both videos are pretty long, but the TL:DR is that Erik claims his sister is a backstabbing, devious bitch in a rambling and expletive-laced rant, makes some wild accusations that include her conspiring with not one, but two of his exes/baby mamas to strip him of his parental rights (both women have taken restraining orders out on Hutchinson and allege his drug problem resulted in his loss of custody), that Lindsay’s products are made in China, not the USA as she claims, and that she at one point conspired with his ex-business partner from the ill-fated AmeraVape to take a hit out on him, because, reasons. Lindsay obviously disputes this in her retort.
As for his latest company, I’m sure it will do great, judging from Erik’s illustrious track record and his current situation, living in a fleabag motel in Danvers, just a few more bad decisions away from a homeless shelter, begging for cash from gullible strangers. Just look at his totally well-balanced, not drug-induced-at-all posts from the past 24 hours.
Even his own buddies seem to be connecting the dots here, despite his protests.
Jack/Gus knows the deal. Sorry, Erik, but I chose to decline writing the story you wanted me to write, because it’s insane. But trust and believe, if I come across anything else about your vagrant, deceptive, grimy ass, I’ll be writing that up, too. People should know what they’re dealing with while you try to dupe them with cries of police negligence under the guise of being a legitimate businessman. You’re not. Go the fuck back to California already.