Isaiah Lee, the man identified as the assailant at comedian Dave Chappelle‘s show during the ‘Netflix Is a Joke’ festival on Tuesday, is facing charges of misdemeanour filed by The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
“This alleged attack has got to have consequences,” Mike Feuer, the city’s District Attorney, said in a video statement on Twitter. He added, “This afternoon, my office has filed charges alleging battery, possession of weapon with the intent to assault, and charges relating to interfering with a performance.”
Feuer also emphasised that his office will “vigorously prosecute this case.”
Greg Risling, District Attorney spokesperson, explained in a separate statement that Lee, who is in police custody, will not face any charges of felony. “After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct.”
According to clips circulating online, Lee jumped on the stage and tackled Chappelle, when the latter was giving his final commentary.
“He tackled Dave and they both went to the floor and began wrestling, when everyone ran onstage to help, including Dave’s security,” said an attendee.
Lee was grabbed by several people and was taken backstage. The police also retrieved a weapon, which was a replica handgun that also included a knife blade, from him.
Chappelle returned shortly after, unhurt. He joked about the incident and said that it was trans man.
Actor Jamie Foxx, who had also attended the event, climbed on stage and said, “I thought that was part of the show.”
Unverified clips of policemen allegedly escorting Lee on a stretcher to an ambulance, were also circulated.
Both Chappelle and Netflix shared their statements with the media, on Wednesday.
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” Carla Sims, the comedian’s rep, stated. It is to be noted that in October 2021, Chappelle had come under fire for his transphobic remarks in his Netflix special, The Closer.
“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,” stated Netflix.