SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, Thursday December 6, 2012 – A judge has ordered the arrest of a local television show host who set an American magician on fire, badly burning his scalp, face and arm.
The judge announced the decision on Tuesday following a bizarre incident in which TV host Franklin Barazarte tossed flaming liquid on magician Wayne Houchin’s head as a “blessing” during taping of a show on November 26.
Barazarte, who was standing in as guest host on the astrology and variety show “Closer to the Stars”, described the incident as “a demonstration within a magical religious framework that turned out badly”.
He said that he had performed similar “blessings” for more than 20 years and that “none of them had ever turned out badly”. He further claimed that his own hands were also burned during what he insisted was an accident.
Monica Pena, a spokeswoman for the Dominican prosecutors’ office, said a doctor certified that Houchin suffered first-degree burns on his scalp, face and right arm in the incident.
The mind-boggling events unfolded when Barazarte abruptly doused 29-year-old Houchin’s head with “Agua de Florida,” a flammable cologne used in the rituals of the Afro-Caribbean religion, Santeria.
What followed was captured on a mobile phone video taken by a member of the visiting American magician’s crew. The video has since circulated widely on the internet, showing horrifying images of Houchin writhing in pain on the stage floor.