The man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle during a standup routine has avoided felony charges and will instead be charged with four misdemeanors.
Isaiah Lee, 23, is accused of jumping on to the stage at Tuesday’s inaugural Netflix Is A Joke festival and brandishing a weapon at 48-year-old Chappelle. The comedian was said to have been unhurt but his attacker attended a hospital due to minor injuries.
The LAPD arrested Lee on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. The weapon in question was a replica gun with a knife blade attached to the barrel.
Isaiah Lee will not face felony charges after Dave Chappelle attack
The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office has now charged Lee with a number of crimes, including battery and possession of a weapon with intent to assault. However, despite reports Chappelle’s attacker was armed with a weapon, prosecutors say that Lee will not be charged with any felony offenses.
An LA Attorney’s Office spokesperson stated that a review of the evidence caused prosecutors to conclude that while a crime has been committed, the evidence does not point to a felony charge. Misdemeanors generally have a lesser punishment than felony crimes but can still result in a jail sentence.
However, City Attorney Mike Feuer has stated that the “alleged attack has got to have consequences” and that his office would “vigorously prosecute this case.”
According to TMZ, the cops pushed for felony charges, but the DA’s office clearly disagreed.
After the attack, Chappelle joked with the audience about the incident. He claimed to have “stomped” the attacker backstage, something he said he’d wanted to do for 35 years.
Chappelle also jokingly called the attacker a “trans man,” which was a reference to his previous controversial comments about transgender men and women. He has since received further criticism for that particular joke.
Celebrities speak out about Dave Chappelle attack
Various celebrities have commented on Tuesday night’s attack; one of the latest was rapper 50 Cent, who joked about the incident on his Instagram page. He posted a picture of the alleged attacker on a stretcher and wrote: “Look at this fools head, LOL I bet that’s the last time he gonna try to run on stage.”
Comedian and America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel also spoke out this week, claiming that he would be very reluctant to go on stage to perform standup. He warned that Will Smith’s slap on Chris Rock combined with the Chappelle attack could signify the “beginning of the end of comedy.”More: Dave Chappelle