A disgruntled “local street vendor” was arrested on a drug charge three days after the Baltimore production of the Apple TV+ series “Lady in the Lake” was shut down by an alleged threat of violence, police said Tuesday.
Keith Brown, 43, of Pikesville, Maryland, was taken into custody Monday after police saw him selling drugs, police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said in an email to NBC News. He told police that he had spoken with a crew member and a security manager for the miniseries Friday about being reimbursed because he couldn't "operate his clothing business" while they were filming on that street, Baltimore police said in a statement.
Brown was apparently "upset that he had not been compensated by the production for lost business" and told police he was waiting to get paperwork from the crew members that he could file to receive a reimbursement, the statement read.
Police are still investigating the allegation, and it's not clear whether or not Brown made any threat of violence to the crew. The alleged threat prompted the producers to shut down production of the show, which stars Natalie Portman and Moses Ingram, and move the filming from downtown Baltimore to an undisclosed location where it resumed a day later.
NBC affiliate WBAL of Baltimore reported Monday that police were investigating possible discrepancies in the story and said they are still interviewing other witnesses about the threat on the set.
“This is still an open and ongoing investigation,” Eldridge said in a statement.
The chain of events that resulted in Brown being arrested began around 4 p.m. Friday when police “received a report concerning a crew member on the set of the Endeavor Content production 'Lady in the Lake' in the 200 block of Park Avenue,” according to the police incident report.
“Preliminary information reported that a crew member had received a verbal threat of violence from an individual, who he alleged also brandished a firearm,” Eldridge said in the statement. “At that time, filming was halted out of an abundance of caution.”
In the incident report provided by police, one officer spoke with an unidentified male crew member who reported that "individuals demanded that he pay $50,000 US currency in order to film at the location (200 Park Avenue) and that they pulled a gun and brandished it at the workers."
But when asked if he himself saw the gun, the crew member "retracted his original statement of seeing the gun" and said one of the crew's drivers had seen the weapon, according to the incident report.
However, the crew member did direct the officer to a nearby corner where he said drug dealers were selling marijuana.
The same officer also spoke with a woman "who was identified as the supervisor for the security firm working with the film crew" and she said "that a group of people wanted $4,000 for the film crew to be able to film in the area and then changed the amount to $50,000."
The unnamed woman "explained that the group threatened to shoot in the air unless they received the money," the incident report stated.
“Lady in the Lake” filming began in April and is expected to continue through the fall. The series, which takes place in Baltimore in 1966, is adapted from local author Laura Lippman’s novel of the same name. The series also features Y’lan Noel, Mikey Madison and Brett Gelman.
In the aftermath of Friday's alleged incident, the Baltimore mayor’s press office issued a statement saying, “Mayor [Brandon] Scott has connected with the film company and assured them that he, along with BPD, remains focused on efforts to build public safety.”