Man Caught On Camera Kicking Glass Doors, Wrecking 'Late Show' Lobby

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.)

Comments (32)
  1. sgeilt says:

    …..who cares?

  2. leno watcher says:

    Parents have to be proud they raised trash.Send him to rikers for a couple months see if he walks the same.

  3. David Ross says:

    Ironically most of Letterman’s jokes ARE a crime!

  4. John Frost says:

    “Blacks are NOT Human but a different predator Species”

  5. The Denver Kid says:

    The suspect’s actions looked very deliberate to me (deliberate for a blacked-out drunk, which his lawyer more or less contends his client was). Further, if my lawyer used such atrocious grammar, I’d fire him/her.

  6. ssquared says:

    I wonder if Letterman was up in his secret office bonking another secretary?

  7. JImInNashville says:

    Whittemore did not do it. His father, who abused him as a child, did all of the damage, and then blamed it on him. Oh, wait, he’s a white male, not an attractive white female in front of a female dominated jury. Better plead guilty.

  8. Hannibal Lecter says:

    Equal opportunity vandalism

    Good to see the White race catching up.

  9. sdf says:

    Yeap, good ol’ letterman is “fighting crime with a few jokes for the zombies”…..I guess.

  10. Wallace says:

    Send the guy to Afganistan with a bottle of the good stuff and turn him loose.

  11. PaulShaffer says:

    The atorneys client was very MOSE-FOO? Please tell me that lawyer was planted by Letterman a part of one of hin unfunny bits.

  12. Paul Shaffer says:

    Letterman was funny and way ahead of his time in the 80’s. At some point he morphed into a miserable old prick, lost his sense of humor and like many others in show *business* became a tool of the Democratic party.

    1. PJRyan says:

      Absolutely spot-on! “Miserable old prick” is perfect. I couldn’t watch even if I wanted to, its just so mean-spirited and pathetic.

  13. LEGALIZE NOW says:



    1. shutupnsing says:

      that would be munchies!

    2. not a teetotaller says:

      yeah, have to admit, though i don’t do drugs, it’s true. found out recently that an old friend has been beating up his wife, another dear friend, and BOTH of them developed a love for drinking regularly and heavily. alcohol is way more lethal and addictive than cannabis. and pot is a plant that God made. booze is from plants, yes, but it’s what men do to it that makes it potent. yeah, true, the Bible does talk about wine being helpful to health. but also to not get drunk. balance. but could anyone imagine trying another prohibition as a solution? impossible insanity. the key is the heart – moderation and self-control.

    3. bendejo says:

      How do we know he was drunk? If he was drunk enough not to remember he couldnt have remained standing. What a poor excuse for a creep.

  14. Rowdy Boots says:

    Oh, I get it…

    NOW, IN OBAMA’S AMERICA, “I don’t remember doing it” is a DEFENSE where one can prove innocence…seeing as THE DEVIL MADE ME DO IT.


  15. benny says:

    “He went on a rampage, knocking over a trashcan”- Now that is heads-up reporting!

  16. Chuck Varrick says:

    The lawyer seems like he’s from a foreign country. Couldn’t understand him, figures. The perp didn’t look drunk either. Typical liberal explanation.

  17. ebag foru says:

    Too drunk to remember anything, but coordinated enough to kick in a door? Baloney!!!

  18. workingman says:

    maybe he will remember the sentence when the judge get done with him!

    and for dave i never did think he was very funny,dry as dust.

  19. JRinCT says:

    … BFD… people get drunk and do stupid things everyday… news reports like this just show how much America idolizes people… the celebrity culture… makes me nauseated-

    1. Dave Shaffer says:

      As nauseated as the fact that Bush is from Ct? I don’t give a rat’s @ss about celebs. I like reading (and watching vids) about stupid…and the comments thereafter.

      1. kickdemout says:

        At least he’s a boni fied citizen.

  20. Doug Roberts says:

    Being drunk is no excuse for vandalism. In fact he should be charged with the vandalism plus public intoxication.

  21. bbba says:

    Letterman is a joke. He is a stupid man.

    1. Doug Roberts says:

      And he’s worth……oh about $60 million more than you. He got there by being stupid, right? Give your head a shake.

      1. JRinCT says:

        IF $$ is what you think it’s all about, you need to have your head shaken up…

  22. kate Jack says:

    Where was the security guards? New York City is the capital of tourists u would think they have someone to keep a eye on the place, I would love to heard what David Letterman have to said about this.

    1. stevo says:

      Kate… that’s your answer? Put guards everywhere… gheez. And how about you actually read the entire article? What did Letterman say about it? Read the story and watch the “Exclusive video”.

  23. MSavage says:

    Doesn’t recall because he was probably drunk as a skunk or high as a kite.

    Either way, he sure gave me a good laugh. More so than all the news stories about Anthony Weiner, and of course more than the theater’s main tenant David Letterman usually does.

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