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Exclusive Video: Man Goes On Wild Vandalism Spree Inside Ed Sullivan Theater

Man Caught On Camera Kicking Glass Doors, Wrecking 'Late Show' Lobby
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(credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

(credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — CBS 2 has obtained exclusive video of a vandal allegedly trashing the front lobby of The Ed Sullivan Theater early Sunday morning.

The accused, identified by police as 22-year-old James Whittemore, is captured on video breaking into the home of the “Late Show” early Sunday morning and then going on a rampage.

Surveillance cameras at the famed theater show a man approaching, breaking the glass front doors and then tearing up the lobby, wrecking the place within minutes, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

“Late Show” host David Letterman made light of the break-in during his Monday show taping, including during his famous top 10 list. He got lots of laughs at his studio’s expense. Fans with tickets said they expected Letterman to joke about it – and he didn’t disappoint.

“When did stupid human tricks become illegal?” Letterman said. “This isn’t just the ‘Late Show,’ it’s now an active crime scene.”

He also launched into a spoof featuring band leader Paul Shaeffer.

“The actual security video … take a look. Yeah, you stole about 28 years of my whole life. I don’t want to see anymore,” Letterman said.

The suspect was formally charged Monday with burglary and criminal mischief. His attorney, Eric Williams, told CBS 2 his client doesn’t remember the incident.

“He was in tears. Yes he was, very remorseful,” Williams said. “He believes he was there, but he was intoxicated to the point that he doesn’t remember,” Eric Williams said.

Outside the Ed Sullivan Theater before the taping of Monday night’s show, Letterman fans couldn’t tell anything had happened. The broken glass doors were repaired and the lobby was back in business.

“I don’t know what to think. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen today,” said Australian tourist Lisa Jeffrey.

“I just have hearsay. I’d like to see the video. It’s always fun to watch crazy people,” added Brian Schikevitz of Austin, Texas.

A criminal court complaint says Whittemore used a metal stanchion to break several of the theater’s glass doors.

A metal bar on the glass doors at the Broadway entrance to the theater was pried open and the glass was smashed. Trash cans and the stanchions for velvet ropes inside the lobby were knocked over. The vestibule was also reportedly damaged.

Authorities said the total cost of the damage was about $5,000. The  complaint also said pictures, fans, phones, and printers were among the items damaged.

CBS and production company Worldwide Pants said the “Late Show” set wasn’t harmed.

SOUND-OFF: What Do You Think Of The Comments Made By The Suspect’s Attorney?  Share Your Thoughts In The Comments Section…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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