Was botched stunt at Criss Angel show faked? We’d be surprised, officials say
If Criss Angel and escape artist Spencer Horsman faked Tuesday's botched water stunt at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, officials connected with incident say it would be news to them.
"We were not told about this being fake in any way," said Kelly Blithe, director of communications for the State Theatre — where Angel and Horsman are expected to appear Friday. The stunt Tuesday was a public, outdoor preview of that show. "We know nothing about that.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital EMTs helped Horsman after he was pulled from a 30-by-30-inch Plexiglas tank filled with 100 gallons of water. The thank, which was hoisted several feet in the air by a crane, was locked with metal bars.
"The only thing I can say is he was brought here — he was treated and released," said RWJ director of public relations Peter Haigney. "If he was still here, I could issue a one-word statement on his condition. But we've completed that process."
A post on Inquisitr.com claimed Angel had told police Horsman’s transport to the hospital was all “part of the act," though it wasn't immediately clear where that information came from — the Inquistr didn't have anyone on hand for the event. NJ.com asked its readers in a poll if the event was faked — and more than 60 percent thought it was.
We can't blame people for being skeptical. These are illusionists, after all. And Horsman notoriously failed the same stunt a few months ago. He's even used that failure to help promote the upcoming attempt:
Haigney said RWJ had a heads up of a major event, but said he didn't know anything to suggest EMS workers knew about a staged emergency — "and I'm highly confident our institution wouldn't participate in something like that, either."
New Brunswick police said they didn't have any involvement in the incident and couldn't speak to it.
For his part, Angel has maintained the incident was real, and shared this picture of Horsman recovering Tuesday:
Blithe said Friday's show is expected to happen as planned — though it'll be up to Angel and Horsman to decide if the stunt is part of it.
Louis C. Hochman is digital managing editor for NJ1015.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LouisCHochman.