A man was escorted out of a Baltimore theater Wednesday night after he allegedly yelled “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump” during a performance of Fiddler on the Roof.
Rich Scherr, a freelance sportswriter for the Baltimore Sun, told the paper that he witnessed an audience member shouting the Nazi slogan during the intermission of the show at the Hippodrome Theatre.
Scherr tweeted a video showing the audience’s reaction after the disturbance, adding that the man shouted “pro-Trump references.”
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the Hippodrome Theatre said that its security team and usher staff removed the “offending audience member quickly” during the intermission. Baltimore police officers met the man as he was escorted out of the building, the theater said.
“Behavior like we saw during intermission at Wednesday evening’s performance is not, and will not be, tolerated,” the Hippodrome Theatre said. “We apologize to those patrons who were affected by this unfortunate incident.”
A spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department told BuzzFeed News that the man was not arrested.
“Though reprehensible, his words are considered protected free speech because he did not directly threaten anyone,” the spokesperson said.
A Baltimore Police Department report identified the man as 59-year-old Anthony Derlunas.
The report said Derlunas was clearly intoxicated, and that he admitted to drinking heavily throughout the evening. An unidentified girlfriend of Derlunas, who was with him at the theater, added that "he usually takes medication but he had not taken it that evening."
Derlunas told police that he had stood and yelled "Heil Hitler, Heil Trump," because the scene in Fiddler on the Roof right before intermission had "reminded him of his hatred for Donald Trump."
"It appeared to this officer based on my interview of Mr. Derlunas that his intention was to express his dislike for President Donald Trump," said the police report.
Scherr told the Baltimore Sun that after the man yelled “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump,” audience members “started running.”
“I’ll be honest, I was waiting to hear a gunshot. I thought, ‘Here we go,’” Scherr said.
He did not respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.
The incident follows a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in the country, including a deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last month in which 11 people were killed after a gunman opened fire while shouting anti-Semitic slurs.
Shortly after the shooting, a political event hosted by Broad City’s Ilana Glazer inside a Brooklyn synagogue was shut down after anti-Semitic graffiti, including the words “die Jew rat” and “Hitler,” was found on the building’s walls.
And on Monday, a Wisconsin school district began investigating an incident in which male high school students appeared to be doing the Nazi salute in their prom photo.
Fiddler on the Roof — adapted from a series of fictional Yiddish stories — is about the life of a Jewish family in imperial Russia’s Pale of Settlement in 1905.
The Hippodrome Theatre said a full team of security personnel are always present during live events to conduct bag checks, screening, and metal detection, and to monitor cameras throughout the venue.
“Our venue has a proud tradition of providing shared experiences to people from all walks of life, right in the heart of this wonderfully diverse city, and we intend to continue that tradition in the spirit of bringing people together, not dividing them,” the theater said.