“A man laced the atmosphere of a Baltimore theater with menace when he began shouting ‘Heil Hitler! Heil Trump!’ during intermission of a classic play set in a Jewish village in czarist Russia,” the AP reports. “The patron’s outburst during a Wednesday night production of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ sent panicked people running for the exits.”
A witness said the man was seated in the balcony at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, where more than 1,000 people were in attendance. The outburst began minutes into the intermission, leaving audience members momentarily frozen in confusion.
Some patrons reportedly said they heard the man yelling about “MAGA,” the acronym for Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
“In a police report made public Thursday evening, hours after the story made waves, police said the man told officers he was actually motivated to shout out salutes to Hitler and Trump because of his disdain for the president,” the AP reports. “Officers said the man, identified as Anthony Derlunas, 58, told them he’d been ‘drinking heavily throughout the night.’ Law enforcers found he was not a threat to public safety.”
The show reportedly continued without incident following the intermission, after the man was escorted out by security.
“The Baltimore police said officers did respond to the Hippodrome at 9:40 p.m. Wednesday, but no arrest was made and the man was allowed to leave on his own,” the AP adds.