Dozens of children and their parents are demanding answers and refunds after a Central New York business abruptly closed.

When the kids showed up for weekly practice at Extreme Martial Arts in Oneida on Monday, April 1 they discovered the doors locked, the studio cleared out.

"The place is completely cleaned out," said Trisha Green. "The belts are gone off the walls. My 8-year-old child is heartbroken."

Credit - Lucky Numero Slevin
Credit - Lucky Numero Slevin

Christopher Smith opened Extreme Martial Arts in the Glenwood Plaza a few years ago.

Kristi Chamberlain Musacchio's son used to attend the dojo but says he wasn't there long. "I couldn’t stand how the coach talked and treated the kids."

Michelle Burley's 12-year-old daughter only went for a month. "My daughter and myself were not a fan of the way he treated the kids. He was very rude."

Alexis C Kullmann pulled her two kids out with 3 months of her membership left. "He made a comment in class that made my kids uncomfortable, as well as myself, and I never let them go back."

Last year Marc Alrit pulled his kids out of class after seeing a video of Coach Chris using inappropriate language. "He thought his live stream was off, and he went off on "F$&*$G Retar… parents". Once that made the rounds many parents left. His behavior was abhorrent."

Despite leaving months ago Marc says they have yet to receive a refund for tuition.

Plea for Help

A little over a week ago, Coach Chris sent out an email to all the parents asking for money to help keep the doors to Extreme Martial Arts open.

"He was always saying how he didn't have money," said Lisa Ortman Miller. "We felt bad and did pay April's tuition and the extra month for our grandson."

Credit- Katy Jo
Credit- Katy Jo

Where's the Money

Where did all that money and Coach Chris go?

Matt Hynes had 2 kids enrolled since October. He's paid over 2000 dollars plus equipment. "Coach said my kids needed them or they could not advance."

Matt isn't alone. Another parent paid $1,000 on tuition, $50 for belts that her child was never given, and over $200 for sparring gear he barely got to use. "They have lost so much. Not the man himself, he was no loss, but the kids developed friendships and a nightly routine and skills that they came to love, and the parents lost a lot of money."

Calls to the business went straight to voice mail that hadn't been set up. His personal number went unanswered as well.

Coach Chris finally sent a message to parents a day after the abrupt closure promising belts and refunds would be going out.


No Refunds, More Charges

Not one parent has seen a refund. Some have even seen more charges on their credit cards.

"He charged my card this morning," said Jeff Witt. "Even if he was still open it wouldn’t be due for my daughter's classes until the 14th."

Jess Marie Getti also saw a charge on her card not a refund.

Police Investigating

The Oneida City Police have been notified and are investigating to determine if this is a criminal case or a civil one.

"We are in the beginning stages, collecting all the facts," said Chief Steven Lowell. "But we're going to do everything we possibly can. We did help recover some property inside the building for one family."

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins