Wyrick Fires Up Suit in Escape Fiasco

Court Battle Brews as Steve Wyrick Sues Pyrotech Company for Failed EscapeThe Las Vegas Sun reports magician has filed suit against Pyritz Pyrotechnics Group LLC. for ruining his big July 4th escape stunt.

Mr. Wyrick’s suit is brought in the Clark County District Court on behalf of the performer as well as his production company Wyrick Magical Productions Inc.

The law suit was filed on Friday.

Wyrick alleges his contract with Pyritz was breached and that breach was the direct cause of the botched effect, and more importantly, injury to one of Wyrick’s staff.

The contract required Pyritz to provide “equipment and labor, including licensed pyrotechnics operators, to provide a pyrotechnics display for his “Death Drop” trick at Planet Hollywood hotel-casino on the Fourth of July.”

The Sun reports this morning that the stunt was to promote a “new tattoo parlor” and its inglorious and dangerous ending happened before “hundreds of onlookers on the streets and sidewalks in front of Planet Hollywood on the Strip.”

Here is what Mr. Wyrick intended to happen according to The Sun:

Wyrick was to be shackled and locked in an equipment box. The box was supposed to be hoisted into the air, supported by a few thin ropes and dangled over a bed of flaming spikes 80 feet below. The ropes were supposed to be set on fire, with Wyrick making his escape before the last rope broke.

That was not what happened, though.

When crew members attempted to ignite the ropes a black net used to hide the box caught on fire as well.

One of Mr. Wyrick’s crew as treated for “minor injuries” by the paramedics on the scene.  Shortly after the trick was aborted — the fire department removed the box — Mr. Wyrick arrived in a helicopter, landing Las Vegas Strip.

Mr. Wyrick was very evasive about the event and the injuries suffered in an interview with The Los Angeles Times Richard Abowitz:

Abowitz: How many people were hurt, and did anyone need to go to the hospital?

Wyrick: Right now, I can’t get into the details of the people who were injured and what happened. I know everyone is expected to have a speedy recovery.

Abowitz: Do you mean with burn scars? Will it be a speedy recovery or a full recovery?

Wyrick: Right now, I would say speedy recovery. The injuries are very minor; I can say that.

Abowitz: Can you say what went wrong?

Wyrick: It is still under investigation. But what I can say is that it was without question one of the most horrifying events in my life. It was a very difficult evening to get through.

Abowitz: And probably an even worse evening for whoever was injured. When did you find out someone or more than one person was hurt? Did you know when you were in the helicopter?

Wyrick: I can’t get into the specifics of the trick, because I am an illusionist.

Abowitz: But don’t you think when someone is injured we have left the realm of illusion and entered reality?

Wyrick: Obviously my greatest concern that evening was for the public safety, my safety, my staff’s safety and Chester’s safety. I can say it was minor injuries.

It was not initially clear whether Mr. Wyrick’s return to the scene in a helicopter was the planned ending.

You can read the full story in The Las Vegas Sun here:  Steve Wyrick files lawsuit over failed July 4 stunt on Strip – Las Vegas Sun.

Read Mr. Abowitz’ article and interview with Steve Wyrick in The Los Angeles Times here.

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