Anti-Trump Theatergoer Causes Panic After Yelling ‘Heil Hitler, Heil Trump’ During Intermission

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An intoxicated man yelled, "Heil Hitler, Heil Trump" on Wednesday night during a performance of "Fiddler on the Roof" in Baltimore, prompting people on social media to inaccurately assume and the media to report he was a supporter of President Donald Trump. The man actually dislikes the president and was trying to express his hated by likening him to the late Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler.

 

Anthony M. Derlunas, 58, began his outburst during intermission shouting "Heil Hitler, Heil Trump," sparking fear among other audience members as some of them ran out of the theater fearing that he was going to start shooting. The audience was on edge following recent shootings, including the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh less than three weeks earlier. It resulted in the death of 11 people, plus the shooter. The gunman made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting and targeted Jews on social media.

Several witnesses to Derlunas' actions said people around them seemed "quite shaken by the incident" and said some "people started running." He was holding his hand straight up in a Nazi salute, according to witnesses, prompting multiple ushers to rush over and escort him out of the theater, according to the Baltimore Sun. Derlunas told a police officer that he "had been drinking heavily throughout the night" before being escorted out.

According to the report, Derlunas said that the final scene of the play before intermission had reminded him of his hatred for the president, which is why he shouted. He was confused when people around him became angry. The officer deduced "that his intention was to express his dislike for President Donald Trump."

Baltimore Police were called and security escorted Derlunas out a few minutes later, a police spokeswoman said, and the show continued.

According to the police report, Derlunas was "calm and compliant" during the interaction and returned to a hotel where he was staying with his girlfriend in the area. Witnesses told The Baltimore Sun that the audience applauded as the man was removed.

Police issued him a stop ticket, which is the least severe measure police can take when responding to a complaint. In addition to the stop ticket, he was permanently banned from the Hippodrome Theater, but he was not arrested. The police spokesman Matt Jablow said, "As reprehensible as those words are, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened."

Several Democrats and media outlets took to social media following initial reports of the incident to accuse Derlunas of being an anti-Semitic supporter of Trump.

Mediaite initially called Derlunas a "Trump supporter" in a headline, but they issued a correction on Friday morning.

"This post initially described the man as a ‘Trump supporter' due to his praise of the president, but according to new reports, the man was actually very drunk and inspired to shout ‘Heil Trump' because of his hatred for the president," the correction read.

Cameron Cawthorne

Cameron Cawthorne   Email Cameron | Full Bio | RSS
Cameron Cawthorne is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2013. Prior to joining Free Beacon, Cameron was a Legislative Assistant in the Virginia General Assembly and a War Room Analyst at America Rising.

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