The teen suffered numerous injuries, including a blinded left eye, after an e-cig exploded at a Brooklyn, NY mall kiosk.
The teen suffered numerous injuries, including a blinded left eye, after an e-cig exploded at a Brooklyn, NY mall kiosk.

Leor Domatov, the 14 year old who was blinded in the left eye from a vape explosion, is the one at fault, according a statement from one of the owners of the mall kiosk where the incident occurred.

The owners are pushing back at the teenager’s claim that the clerk at the kiosk allowed him to handle the vape just before it exploded in his face.

Esther Kanchik, co-owner of Vape On in the Kings Plaza Mall in Brooklyn, NY made the following statement to the New York Daily News:

“No one gave him anything. He picked up the employee’s device and he switched out the tank without permission. To say that the employees were selling to underage people is totally wrong. We felt extremely bad that this happened, but to slander my husband’s name and my family name is really wrong.”

Although Kanchik and her husband/co-owner have fired the employee, they insist that the kid took the vape without the employee’s consent. Igor says:

“They are blaming me, but he took it without the consent of my employee.”

teenexplodedecigblindThe couple claims that mall security cameras and eyewitnesses will help corroborate their claims. Conveniently, all four security cameras were unplugged. Marc Freund, the attorney for the 14-year-old, thinks that the owners are trying to shift responsibility away from themselves, especially since their kiosk’s insurance had lapsed. Freund says:

“The idea that all four security cameras went out doesn’t even pass the smell test. He was with his friends, and they can corroborate that the clerk was showing him products.”

The case isn’t looking too good for the Kanchiks, however. Info has recently surfaced showing that Igor Kanchik has a prior criminal conviction for being involved in a ring selling illegal bath salts. In 2011 he was one of 15 people who were arrested for selling over $2 million worth of the illegal stimulants in shops all over Manhattan and Brooklyn.  He was sentenced to two years of probation and an $1,100 fine after pleading guilty in 2012.

So basically this guy is already a confirmed asshole. Whether or not his statement is about the kid taking the vapes without permission is true, publicly blaming a blind kid for his own predicament makes Kanchik look like the biggest douche on the planet. I’m not a lawyer or anything, but he should probably stop talking to the media.

The kiosk is currently under investigation by the New York Department of Consumer Affairs. A spokesman for the department made the following statement:

It is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to customers under 21 in New York City, and we will be visiting this retailer to ensure they follow the law.”

Learn more about how to prevent e-cig explosions by clicking here.

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