BOSTON – An unruly audience member who interrupted Chris Rock’s comedy show on Wednesday was pepper-sprayed and arrested after going berserk over the venue’s mask policy, police said.
Kaleb Herd, 25, was busted after he and his father were escorted from their seats in the orchestra section of the Wilbur Theatre during Rock’s first standup performance since he was slapped by actor Will Smith during Sunday’s Oscar ceremony.
The father and son were allegedly being loud and disruptive when staff approached them during Rock’s set and told them to put their face masks on, as per theater policy.
“He obviously had a few in him and whatever,” Quincy, Mass., resident Angela Long said. “He was kind of loud and people were saying, ‘We can’t hear, we are here to listen.’ It went back and forth and there was a ruckus … He stopped the show for a little bit.”
The theater owner told police he had heard someone yell, “F–k Will Smith,” according to a police report obtained by The Post, but it wasn’t clear if that comment came from Herd.
A police officer on the scene heard the commotion and came to assist the staff, the report said. The men were angry that staff members “were not telling any of the white patrons to put on their masks,” according to the report.
The officer asked the men to lower their voices, but when Herd didn’t comply, the pair were told they had to leave, the report said.
An enraged Herd jumped from his seat and allegedly threatened staff and the officer, the report said.
The men had alcohol on their breath, the reporting officer said in his report.
Herd’s father tried to pull his son out of the theater but the disruption continued as they exited the building. Herd then “pushed his father out of the way and onto the ground in order to be further confrontational while he continued to voice his displeasure about being removed and that everyone was ruining his father’s birthday,” the police report said.
The confrontation continued outside of the theater, where the disgruntled theater-goer allegedly lunged at the officer as his father continued to try to play peacekeeper, cops said.
The officer then pepper-sprayed Herd, who dropped to the ground. The father was also treated for the effects of the spray.
Herd was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and assault and battery. He was arraigned Thursday and released, according to police.
The kerfuffle caused Rock to temporarily stop the show and ask, “Is everything OK over there?” as the commotion grew, audience member Andrew Nodell, 34, told The Post.
“He said, ‘Is this what every show is going to be like?’” Nodell said.
“It was a moment where you thought of Sunday night where you’re like, ‘Wait is everything going to be violent?’”