A magician may never tell his secrets, but the secret to getting out of a speeding ticket might just be being a magician.
At least that’s what local magician Steven Brundage found out early Friday morning.
That’s when Brundage was pulled over on Vly Road in the village after being clocked going 42 mph in a 30 mph zone.
By the time the encounter was over, any thought of a speeding ticket had vanished and in its place was a viral video that, as of Monday afternoon, had been viewed a quarter-million times on YouTube.
As Brundage, 23, of Glenville, tells it on his website, StevenBrundageMagic.com, the interest of officers was piqued when they spotted tools of his trade in the back seat — playing cards.
He’d been traveling home from an event in New York City a little too quickly when he was stopped. The conversation with the officers turned to his work and the officers asked if Brundage could show them a trick.
The video starts from there, showing Brundage and his Rubik’s Cube. He solves it very quickly, then solves it again with impossible speed and seemingly zero effort — tossing it into the air to solve itself before it lands in his hands.
“How did you do that?” an audibly surprised officer exclaims off-camera.
The video ends with the officers seemingly amazed. (And, Brundage writes, without a ticket being issued.)
“These men were a pleasure to do tricks for,” he wrote on his website, “and I’m happy to say I left without a ticket! The Scotia police force is awesome, and I’m glad that they gave me permission to film this video.”
Scotia Police Chief Peter Frisoni confirmed the details of the incident later Monday.
“It was a great trick and obviously there was an excellent interaction between them,” he said. “It went well.”
The chief said officers have discretion on whether to write tickets. The details of Brundage’s stop fit within that discretion.
Frisoni said he’s confident that by the time the trick came up, the officers had already decided based on the circumstances not to issue a ticket.
Brundage also said he was pretty sure by the time the officers requested the trick he wasn’t going to get a ticket.
Brundage gladly obliged their request. He also asked if he could record it, something he typically doesn’t do. The officers agreed and even held the camera through much of the trick.
Brundage said he’s been performing magic for about two years now. He said he typically expects a good reaction to that trick, but it was fun to see the officers react.
“I knew it was going to be big, but I wasn’t sure of the scale of it,” he said of the video.
Brundage said he also sees the video as showing a different side of police officers. “It shows there are good cops out there,” he said.
Frisoni identified the initial officer who stopped Brundage as Henry Brady, who has 11 months on the job. Backing him up at the scene was Officer Dan Harrigan, who’s been with the department about a decade.
What resulted was a piece that showed a good interaction between police and a driver, Frisoni said.
That, and a little unexplained magic.
“I watched the video several times,” Frisoni said, “and I’m still trying to figure out how he did it.”
Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122 or [email protected]