On Wednesday night during a performance of Fiddler on the Roof in Baltimore, a man yelled, “Heil Hitler, Heil Trump” from the balcony. The incident occurred at the Hippodrome Theatre, during the intermission, the Baltimore Sun reports.
Many audience members were understandably frightened, with some reportedly thinking that a shooting might follow.
Sick, sad world. A man stands at intermission of tonight’s performance of Fiddler in Baltimore and yells, “Heil Hitler,” along with pro-Trump references. pic.twitter.com/slDcPwF7re
— Rich Scherr (@writerguyRich) November 15, 2018
Rich Scherr, who was in the audience, described the scene: “People started running. I’ll be honest, I was waiting to hear a gunshot. I thought, ‘Here we go.’”
Another audience member, Samit Verma, was seated in the balcony and saw the man giving a Nazi salute before being ushered out of the theater. In an email to the Baltimore Sun, the Verma said, “The people around me appeared to be quite shaken by the incident. There were some people in tears.”
The man was given a stop ticket, but not arrested, according to police. Apparently, a stop ticket is the least severe measure police can take when responding to a complaint. There are no fines or penalties and there is no follow-up action needed from the recipient. Sounds effective! But Matt Jablow, a police spokesperson, told the Sun, “As reprehensible as those words are, they are considered protected free speech because nobody was directly threatened.”
Fiddler on the Roof is the story of a Jewish family facing persecution in imperial Russia. This disturbing incident comes just weeks after a shooter opened fire in the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing 11 people and injuring seven more.
h/t Baltimore Sun