Man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle on stage charged with misdemeanour
The man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl has been charged with four counts of misdemeanour — after Los Angeles County prosecutors announced he would not face felony charges.
Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office have now charged Isaiah Lee, 23, with battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorised 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 statement posted to Twitter, City Attorney Mike Feuer – a candidate for Los Angeles mayor – said: “This alleged attack has got to have consequences.
“My office takes protecting public safety extremely seriously and we are going to vigorously prosecute this case.”
It comes after the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said prosecutors had concluded that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence did not constitute felony conduct.
It referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, which will consider possible misdemeanour charges.
A spokesman for the Attorney’s Office said: “The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office for misdemeanour filing consideration.
“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 misdemeanour crimes within the city of Los Angeles.”
In the US, crimes classified as felonies are considered more serious and carry a more severe penalty while misdemeanours are considered less serious, although they can still result in fines or jail terms.
Chappelle, 48, was performing at the Los Angeles venue on Tuesday night as part of the Netflix Is A Joke festival when he was “tackled” by a man who rushed on to the stage.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) later arrested 23-year-old Lee, who was carrying a replica gun containing a knife blade, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
The incident happened as Chappelle was closing the show and thanking the comedians who had performed before him, including Chris Rock, Leslie Jones and Jon Stewart.
Hollywood star Jamie Foxx, a close friend of Chappelle, came on stage to check the comic was OK, before reportedly helping to apprehend the alleged attacker.
Video posted on social media appeared to show a man, reported by US media outlets to be the suspected attacker, with a badly injured arm being put in an ambulance.
The fracas comes after Rock was slapped by Will Smith while on stage at the Oscars, prompting some members of the comedy community to question whether it remains safe to perform publicly.
Chappelle later released a statement through his spokesperson noting that his four-night run at the Hollywood Bowl ties him with Monty Python for the most headlined shows of any comedian at the famous venue.
The statement added that Chappelle “refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment”.
Chappelle has previously faced a backlash over comments about transgender people in his Netflix comedy special The Closer.