Magician Angel escapes box in Times Square

5:00 AM PST 06/06/2007 by Reuters, AP

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NEW YORK -- Criss Angel appeared to escape Tuesday from a cement box suspended above Times Square in New York after it crashed to the ground without anyone seeing him emerge.

Angel was enclosed for 24 hours in a clear box that was encased in cement as fans and reporters watched. The box was hoisted 40 feet above the ground in a parking lot just off Times Square.

Hundreds gathered to watch his escape, and a big screen showed Angel inside the box, kicking at the walls and dejectedly holding his head in his hands. When a countdown clock hit zero, the box was sent plunging to the ground.

As organizers called for paramedics and fans went quiet, Angel appeared atop the screen's nearby scaffolding, waving to the crowd and with his hand across his heart.

While much of the crowd cheered, several people were heard asking: "Was he actually in the box?"

"Well, I was in it when I fell -- that's the truth," Angel told Reuters, adding that people should be asking how he got from the fallen box to the scaffolding.

The stunt was meant to draw attention to the third season of his show "Mindfreak," which starts airing on A&E on Tuesday night. Angel said the first episode would reveal how he escaped.

"You never know with me. You're waiting for something, and I flipped it on you," he said.

Angel has been building a career as a magician since he was a teenager in New York and grabbed the spotlight in 2005 with his show, which has included levitation, walking on water and lying on a bed of nails while a vehicle drives over him.

After his stunt, Angel turned to a television camera to tell "my very special person," Cameron Diaz, that he loved her. Gossip magazines have been speculating about a romance after the two were seen together in Las Vegas.
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