The man who attacked Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this week will not face felony charges, says the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. They have instead referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for possible misdemeanor charges, according to Deadline.
L.A. D.A. Declines To Charge Man Who Attacked Dave Chappelle
The man was identified as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee and charged with assault with a deadly weapon on Tuesday night. The weapon in question was a plastic replica gun that caused a knife to protrude from the barrel on the gun when the trigger was squeezed. According to a statement put out by the LAPD, the man had the weapon in his hand while he rushed at Chappelle, who was performing at the Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival on Tuesday night.
Lee is currently being held on $30,000 dollar bail. According to the outlet, the District Attorney’s Office released a statement saying, “After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct. The District Attorney’s Office does not prosecute misdemeanor crimes within the city of Los Angeles.”
— abazar 🦇🔊 (@abazar) May 4, 2022
Fortunately, Chappelle had not been injured in the attack and resumed his stand-up routine after the incident, with friend Jamie Foxx joining him on stage. Many clips of the incident have emerged on social media. One clip seems to show Chappelle saying, “It was a trans man” after the attack, referring to the backlash that he received for perceived transphobic remarks from his Netflix special “The Closer.”
According to Deadline, Chris Rock walked out after the incident and quipped, “Was that Will Smith?”, referring to when he was slapped by Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards earlier this year.
Dave Chappelle’s Attacker Will Face 4 Dismemeanor Charges
Late last night, Deadline reported that Isaiah Lee, 23, has been charged by the Los Angeles City’s attorney office on four misdemeanor charges. The charges include 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 an event or interferes with a performer.
In a video posted to Twitter announcing the charges, City Attorney Mike Feuer said, “This alleged attack has got to have consequences.” Feuer, a candidate for L.A. mayor, added, “My office takes protecting public safety extremely seriously and we are going to vigorously prosecute this case.”
The full video can be seen below.
🚨BREAKING: City Attorney Mike Feuer announces charges against Dave Chappelle’s alleged attacker. pic.twitter.com/OiMh8ZWftX
— The Office of Mike Feuer, L.A. City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) May 5, 2022
Dave Chappelle & Netflix Release Statements After The Incident
Dave Chappelle just got attacked on stage
— Hoodville (@Hoodville_) May 4, 2022
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Chappelle said that they did not want the incident to “overshadow the magic” of the comedy festival.
“Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl,” the statement said. “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.”
“As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show. Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening, hip-hop artists yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star, who performed music from their new album – the first in nearly 24 years – which was released on Luminary,” the statement continued. “Other special comedic guests last night included Earthquake, Leslie Jones, Jeff Ross, Sebastian, Jon Stewart, and Michelle Wolf.”
A Netflix spokesperson also commented on the matter, saying, “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.”
Celebrities like Beyoncé, Jay-Z- and Elon Musk were also reportedly in the front row during the attack, along with several others.