Monday, June 23, 2014

Chef Confesses After Botched Self-Immolation

"VIRGINIA BEACH, VA — Erin Hunt was supposed to open a new restaurant last week: Off the Hook in Chesapeake. He already had begun working with the staff.

"But a week and a half ago, Hunt died in a way that shocked family and friends who knew him as a mild-mannered chef and devoted father of three. Police said he assaulted a woman he knew on a Sunday evening at a home in the Courthouse Estates neighborhood, then set himself on fire in the backyard. He was 38.

"`It paints a different picture than what he was,` said Jennifer Carpinelli, owner of Off the Hook. `He was really big into dog rescues. He had a blind dog. He took that dog because no one would take it.... He was easy to get along with, understanding and helpful.`

"He was also an extremely talented chef, she said.

"Police on Friday released further details about the attack. In an email, Detective Justin Cole said Hunt and the woman were living together and had agreed he would move out of the house that day. He hadn't removed his belongings by the time she got home, and she asked why he had not left.

"That's when he hit her several times in the head with a dumbbell, Cole said. She ran outside screaming, and neighbors called 911. Meanwhile, Cole said in the email, Hunt came outside, then went back in the house alone. Shortly after, he was seen engulfed in flames in the backyard, a gas can nearby.

"Neighbors put out the flames with a garden hose, and Hunt told them and police he had intended to kill the woman and himself, Cole said. He was taken to a hospital and died a few days later."


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