A California magician and performance artist who has worked extensively in L.A. had his head set afire on live television in the Dominican Republican last week. (Video after the jump). Hoax? Stunt? Crime?
While he's recovering at a Dominican hospital Wayne Houchin insists via statement that it was “not a stunt or part of an act – this was a criminal attack.”
An arrest warrant was reportedly issued for the TV host …
… Franklin Barazarte. The show is called Approach the Stars. It happened Nov. 26, according to Houchin, who has worked at Hollywood's famed Magic Castle and is now one of the hosts of Discovery's Breaking Magic.
The Chico-based performer claims to have escaped from a straight jacket while dangling 50 feet above an intersection, predicted the winner of a Super Bowl and driven a California highway safely while blindfolded.
But Houchin insists this wasn't one of his stunts, telling the Weekly:
This was absolutely not a stunt gone wrong. It was completely unexpected.
Earlier, he described the situation via his Facebook page:
Monday while appearing on a TV show in the Dominican Republic, the TV host took a handful of Aqua De Florida [cologne], ignited it and intentionally dropped it on my head, setting me on fire.
I was not aware he was going to do this. This was not a stunt or part of an act – this was a criminal attack.
The fast actions of the rest of our Curiosidades team saved my life. The fire was put out and I was rushed to the emergency room. I have bad burns on my head, face, neck and right hand.
I am in pain, but am recovering. I will update you on the situation when I can.
Later he told fans:
I will be extending my stay here in the Dominican Republic in order to undergo continuous treatment for my burns. The doctors are cautiously optimistic that I will fully recover with no scars.
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country full of beautiful people. The outrage here and outpouring of support has been incredible.
The support, love and well wishes that has been sent my way through social media, blogs, forums, friends and fans has been both humbling and overwhelming.
Strangely, while he recovers he's handling his own press inquiries and was quick to respond to the Weekly from his hospital bed with a well-sorted package of photos from the Dominican show.
He told us:
The doctors are cautiiously optimistic that my face will heal with little or no scarring, but my right hand isn't healing as well.