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Accused David Letterman Theater Vandal Arraigned

By DNAinfo Staff on July 11, 2011 1:28pm

MANHATTAN CRIMINAL COURT — An aspiring actor charged with trashing the Ed Sullivan Theater, which is home to David Letterman's show, was too drunk to remember what he allegedly did, his attorney said Monday.

Prosecutors said James Whittemore, 22, smashed the "rather ornate" panels on the brass and glass front doors of the landmark Midtown theater to gain entry late Saturday night and destroyed property inside.

He allegedly urinated on the front doors, and once inside the lobby trashed "pictures, fans, telephones, and printers among other property," according to court documents.

But his attorney, Eric Williams, said his client was heavily intoxicated and does not have a real recollection of what he did.

"He doesn't remember much about anything," Williams said, adding that the home venue to the "Late Show with David Letterman" was a random target, as far as he knows.

Whittemore "almost came to tears" in the holding cell, Williams said, adding "he probably feels worse" not having memory of the incident.

"I asked him if he had an alcohol problem," Williams said. His client did not admit to being an alcoholic, the lawyer said. 

Assistant District Attorney Greg SanGermano said arresting officers believed he was aware of what he was doing and did not appear to be stumbling drunk. Whittemore tried to hide inside the theater when police came to arrest him, SanGermano added.

Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Marc Whiten ordered Whittemore, a would-be actor and singer living in Harlem, held on $6,000 bail.

Williams said he was waiting to determine whether Whittemore's family could post the bond.

Whittemore, who is charged with third-degree burglary, a felony, and criminal mischief, is due back in court on Friday.