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Criss Angel / underwater stunt / Times Square, New York / August 27, 2002

 

His skin crinkled and his eyes bloodshot, illusionist Criss Angel emerged Tuesday morning (August 27, 2002) after spending 24 hours in a Times Square water chamber. 

The 33-year-old Long Island native thanked family, friends, the gathered crowd -- and his employer, World Wrestling Entertainment -- before passing out and vomiting as he was loaded onto an ambulance, which took him to St. Clare's Hospital in midtown. 

His publicist said Angel suffered from dehydration, and would remain there overnight, wrapped in insulation to keep his body temperature at a safe level. 

Before he emerged from the phone booth sized contraption of clear plastic and steel, Angel yanked out the air hose that allowed him to breathe. Then assistants pulled a black curtain over the 220-gallon (832-liter) chamber to block the view of television cameras and about 100 people gathered outside the window in which he was displayed. 

Under cover, Angel apparently escaped from the shackles that bound his arms, legs and neck, before pulling himself from the watery chamber with a celebratory scream. 

"Honestly, I ran into some problems last night," he said as assistants carried him out to wave to the crowd on the street. "It got too hot -- my jaw was fatigued. I thought I was going to pass out. I look like I'm about 90 years old."