It was on Tuesday night, famous comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked on stage. He had been performing at the Hollywood Bowl for the Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival. Although Chappelle was thankfully unharmed, many wondered why the attacker rushed the stage to begin with.
Chappelle reportedly quipped “That was a trans man” after the attacker was pulled off-stage by security, referring to his infamous controversy with the trans community over allegedly transphobic comments he made during his stand-up comedy special, “The Closer.”
However, TMZ revealed that the real reason that 23-year-old Isaiah Lee attacked Chappelle had nothing to do with the trans community.
Dave Chappelle Asked His Attacker Why He Tried To Hurt Him Dave Chappelle
TMZ reported that the Los Angeles Police Department actually let Chappelle speak to Lee before he was taken away. Chappelle said “I needed to talk to him” to find out why he was attacked that night. Chappelle claims that Lee told him that he was trying to get attention for his grandmother, who had been forced out of her neighborhood due to gentrification.
Later on in the night, Chris Rock – who is no stranger to being attacked on stage after the fiasco at the 94th annual Academy Awards – took to the stage and joined Chappelle, who continued to perform after the incident.
At one point in the night, Chappelle said, “At least you got smacked by someone of repute,” referring to “King Richard” actor Will Smith. “I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”
Chris responded, “I got smacked by the softest n—- that ever rapped.”
Although the Los Angeles County D.A. declined to charge Lee with a felony, the City Attorney still decided to take legal action against Lee and charged him with four misdemeanors.
Dave Chappelle’s Attacker Pleads Not Guilty To Misdemeanor Charges
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
Late last night, Deadline reported that Isaiah Lee, 23, was now facing 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.”
Replica handgun with bayonet-style knife attached held by attacker who tackled Dave Chappelle onstage
The weapon that Lee had in his possession during the attack was a plastic replica gun that caused a knife to protrude from the barrel of 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.
According to Deadline, Lee pled not guilty on Friday afternoon. He remains jailed while facing $30,000 dollar bail. If he does manage to post bail and is released, he will have to remain at least 100 yards away from the Hollywood Bowl and Chappelle himself. He is due back in court on May 20.
According to the City Attorney’s Office, Lee could face up to 18 months in county jail and/or up to $4,000 in fines if he is convicted on all counts.