An American magician was recuperating Sunday in the Dominican Republic after his head was lit on fire with flammable cologne commonly used in Santeria rituals.
Wayne Houchin, a Chico, Calif. native, said he is receiving treatment for burns that doctors are cautiously optimistic will not result in scars. A Sunday statement on his Facebook page says he is “resting, healing & working through the legal process" in the Caribbean nation, where he had been performing with a group of fellow magicians.
During a Nov. 26 appearance on the Dominican Republic’s “Closer To The Stars” TV program, guest host Franklin Barazarte abruptly doused the U.S. magician’s head with “Agua de Florida.” A video of the incident shows the magician’s head bursting into flames as Barazarte runs his hands over Houchin’s hair.
It is unclear why the TV host doused his head in the liquid and what ignited it. The program has not commented on the incident.
The video also shows Houchin, Barazarte and others struggling to extinguish the flames for several seconds. The incident was not broadcast on Dominican television, but a video of it has appeared on the Internet.
Houchin said Barazarte’s actions were completely unexpected, considering it a criminal attack. He also stated “the outrage here and outpouring of support has been incredible.”
It was not immediately clear if he has retained a lawyer in the Dominican Republic.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.