NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York man was arrested on Sunday after allegedly breaking into the Ed Sullivan Theater in midtown Manhattan, where David Letterman tapes his late night talk show, police said. “Apparently he was unaware that he could actually obtain a ticket and enter the theater legally when the show was being taped.”
James Whittemore, 22, of Manhattan was arrested in the lobby of the theater, where he was trying unsuccessfully to buy some popcorn, at about 7 a.m. and charged with burglary and criminal mischief, police said. “We wanted to charge him with just being dumb as well, but apparently that’s not a crime.”
He was being held pending a court appearance later on Sunday.
The theater, where Letterman tapes CBS’ “Late Show.” was closed at the time. Whittemore was arrested after police received a 911 call, which was placed by Letterman who was in his office at the time. “It’s happening again,” he told a 911 dispatcher. Apparently Letterman was making reference to when Margaret Mary Ray was arrested and charged several times for trespassing and stalking the talk show host starting in the late 1980s.
Police said they did not know whether Sunday’s break-in had anything to do with Letterman in particular or whether Whittemore just liked to attempt to buy popcorn in closed theaters.
In 2009 Letterman was targeted for extortion by a former employee who threatened to expose his affair with a female staff member. He informed police and the man was arrested. It has been speculated that Letterman is what is known in the police parlance as “a looney magnet,” and that he somehow attracts whackos out of the very air he breathes.