The man who allegedly attacked Dave Chappelle on stage at his Hollywood Bowl show on Tuesday will NOT face felony charges.
The alleged attacker is facing just misdemeanor consequences after tackling the Chappelle’s Show alum on stage in front of a sold-out crowd while reportedly carrying with him a replica handgun that had a large knife blade attached to it. And that’s not a felony? The f**k?!?!
According to media reports, no felony charges will be filed against 23-year-old Isaiah Lee in the incident, after Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón (pictured above, inset) opted instead for a misdemeanor pursuit. Gascón’s office announced on Thursday that the case has been sent to the LA City Attorney’s Office for “possible misdemeanor charges” instead of a more thorough felony prosecution.
In a statement on the decision, Gascón’s office said to the media:
“After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct.”
Uhhh… what “evidence”? The dude allegedly had a big-ass knife in his possession at the time he tackled Chappelle on stage. That doesn’t warrant a serious prosecution for “felony conduct”?!?! Thankfully, Chappelle does not appear to have been seriously injured in the incident. Still, intent matters. This appears to have been a premeditated violent act with a weapon!
LA City Attorney Mike Feuer now has the case. He has charged Lee — who reportedly is a wannabe rapper performing under the moniker NoName Trapper — with four misdemeanors. Those charges include 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 the event or interferes with the performer.
TMZ reports that police sources speculate it’s “unlikely” the 23-year-old alleged assailant will serve much jail time in the incident because of the misdemeanor walk-back, as well as prison overcrowding, COVID protocols, and other factors.
Still, it appears Feuer took a subtle shot at Gascón in his own statement about the charges:
“My office takes protecting public safety extremely seriously.”
The outlet further reports that LAPD insiders are apparently “royally pissed” that Gascón turned down prosecuting the case. Lee is next due in court on Friday. If convicted on the misdemeanor counts, he faces a potential sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $4,000 fine.
As for Chappelle, it appears the comedian is trying to move on from the incident. A rep for the longtime stand-up star released a brief follow-up statement to the media:
“He refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”
Also, the Hollywood Bowl is (rightfully) getting some criticism for how anybody could have possibly gotten into the arena with a weapon like that in the first place. On Thursday evening, a rep for the famed venue finally released a statement to the media:
“[We are] reviewing our existing procedures both internally and with the assistance of outside experts so we can continue to provide a safe and secure environment.”
YWe’re just shocked the consequences apparently will not be more severe for the alleged assailant in this incident.
Bail, sentencing, and prison reforms are crucial — and in so many cases, they are long overdue. But there has to be common sense involved in the decision-making process on the prosecutorial handling of armed, violent acts, too.