Dave Chappelle’s Alleged Attacker Charged With Attempted Murder

By Michileen Martin | 1 month ago

dave chappelle

Earlier this month, in what was no doubt a terrifying moment for the comic, Dave Chappelle was tackled on stage at the Netflix Is a Joke Fest at the Hollywood Bowl. The suspect Isaiah Lee was arrested for the attack, and the LAPD confirmed finding a replica gun on him and that a switchblade was inside of it. In spite of all this, two days after the alleged attack, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office announced it was declining to charge Lee with a felony and instead charged him with four misdemeanors. Now — a little over two weeks after the incident — Isaiah Lee is being charged with attempted murder, but it isn’t Chappelle who was Lee’s alleged victim.

As reported by Deadline, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office is charging Lee with attempted murder, but not in reference to the incident with Dave Chappelle. Instead, the District Attorney’s Office is alleging Lee stabbed his roommate in December 2021. The outlet’s report did not include the name of Lee’s alleged victim, but they apparently shared a room in a transitional housing facility. Lee has pled not guilty and will reportedly be expected back in court to face the charges on June 2nd.

In contrast, for allegedly attacking Dave Chappelle, Lee has been charged with four misdemeanors: “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.” Instead of the District Attorney’s Office, the misdemeanor charges are being handled by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office. After determining Lee’s alleged attack “did not constitute felony conduct,” the DA’s Office referred the case because they do not “prosecute misdemeanor crimes.”

A number of comedians responded to the news of the attack on Dave Chappelle in different ways. Late night veteran David Letterman asked audience members to simply wait until after the performance to attack him. Meanwhile on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kevin Hart said it was a good thing that Lee seemed to have been severely injured after the alleged attack. “Do you want people to continue to think that they can cross that line and break the barrier of entertainer [and audience]?” Hart said. “Somebody getting their ass whooped sends a message out to other people that was like, ‘You know, I was thinking about doing that. But after seeing that, I don’t really want to do that.’”

Hart is likely talking less about Dave Chappelle here and more about what will no doubt go down as one of the most shocking moments of the year: Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars. After it first happened and certain celebrities started to split themselves into Team Will and Tim Chris, many of the loudest Team Chris celebrities were comics like Kathy Griffin who warned that what happened at the Academy Awards could inspire more people to likewise attack stand-up comics on stage. Whether or not that was a factor in the assault on Chappelle is a mystery at this point.