The man accused of tackling comedian Dave Chappelle onstage in Los Angeles earlier this month was charged with attempted murder stemming from a December incident involving his roommate, authorities said.
In a news release on Thursday, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced that Isaiah Lee, 23, was charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his roommate on Dec. 2, 2021.
Gascon said his office decided not to charge Lee for a misdemeanor assault that involved an onstage incident with Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl, and instead referred that case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
“The publicity generated by the attack on Mr. Chappelle helped police solve this crime,” Gascon said in a statement. “The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl was misdemeanor conduct and rightfully referred to the City Attorney’s Office. Based on the nature and severity of the December attack, Mr. Lee is now facing felony charges which my office will prosecute.”
Lee pleaded not guilty to the attempted murder charge on Thursday and will return to court on June 2, Gascon said.
Lee was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on May 3, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
According to KABC-TV, the Hollywood Bowl incident occurred at about 10:45 p.m. PDT. Witnesses said a man, later identified as Lee, charged at Chappelle, 44, near the end of his performance at the show, “Netflix Is a Joke Presents: Dave Chappelle and Friends,” The New York Times reported. Security guards quickly intervened.
According to KNBC-TV, Lee used a replica gun that could eject a knife blade.
Lee did not use the weapon in the assault and Chappelle was not injured, so a felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon was not warranted, the district attorney’s office said.
Chappelle was not injured, but Lee was taken to an area hospital with “superficial injuries,” the television station reported.
A motive for the attack on Chappelle has not been released.
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