The man who assaulted Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night will not face a felony, but will instead face misdemeanor charges. Isaiah Lee, 23, was arrested and booked for assault with a deadly weapon after the attack because he allegedly carried a replica gun with a knife attached.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer charged Lee with battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage area during a performance, and commission of an act that delays the event or interferes with a performer, reports TMZ. These are misdemeanor charges, but Lee could face jail time.
An arrest has been made in an incident where a comedian was attacked while on stage at the Hollywood Bowl. Isaiah Lee was charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon and bail is set at $30,000.
More info:https://t.co/KW4KNDBefY pic.twitter.com/ldcnvf0H8q
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) May 4, 2022
Earlier Thursday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to charge Lee with a felony and passed the case to Feuer’s office. “After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told TMZ. Police sources told TMZ they pursued a felony charge, but the district attorney disagreed. When Feuer’s office announced their decision, Feuer appeared to shade the county D.A.’s office by noting, “My office takes protecting public safety extremely seriously.”
Towards the end of Chappelle’s Netflix Is A Joke festival set, a member of the audience rushed to the stage to tackle the comedian. Security personnel snapped into action and held the man until Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived and arrested the suspect. The man was later identified as Lee. He is being held in lieu of $30,000 bail, reports NBC Los Angeles.
The suspect was hospitalized due to injuries he suffered when security stopped him. It’s unclear how serious Lee’s injuries are, but one video on social media showed his arm bent at an odd angle. The motive for the attack is unclear, but Chappelle has been a controversial figure since his Netflix special The Closer featured transphobic jokes. Chappelle even referenced the heightened security at his shows since the controversial special was released last fall.
It is also unclear how Lee allegedly made it through security with a weapon shaped like a gun. On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which manages the Hollywood Bowl, issued a statement referring questions to the police. “The safety of our artists, visitors, and staff is the LA Phil’s top priority,” they said. “The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3, 2022, remains an active investigation, and we are unable to comment further at this time. Please refer additional questions to the LAPD.”
Netflix also condemned the violent attack. “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence,” the streamer said in a statement.
“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl,” Chappelle’s representative said in a statement. “This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.” Chappelle’s rep went on to thank Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock, who both helped calm the crowd. Rock reportedly asked the crowd if the suspect was Will Smith, a reference to Smith slapping him during the Oscars in March.