Suspect in Attack on Chappelle Won't Face Felony Charges

Isaiah Lee could still be charged with misdemeanors
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2022 12:06 PM CDT
Updated May 5, 2022 5:45 PM CDT
Arrest Made in Chappelle Attack, but Now, Renewed Controversy
Comedian Dave Chappelle is seen Nov. 6, 2021, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/Steve Marcus)

(Newser) Update: The man arrested in the onstage attack on comedian Dave Chappelle won't be charged with any felonies, the Los Angeles Police Department said Thursday. Prosecutors came to the conclusion that criminal conduct occurred but not felony conduct, CBS News reports. The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office will now decide whether to file misdemeanor charges against the suspect. Our story from Wednesday follows:

After a "huge response" by the LAPD following an attack on comedian Dave Chappelle during his performance at the Hollywood Bowl Tuesday night, police say an arrest has been made, reports the Los Angeles Times. A man IDed by cops as Isaiah Lee, 23, was booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $30,000 bail. The attacker is alleged to have had on his person a replica gun with a built-in knife, though the 48-year-old comedian wasn't injured. Officials aren't speaking on a motive, and they aren't yet sure how the suspect got the weapon through security.

Meanwhile, an old controversy has once more reared its head, thanks to a remark Chappelle made to the audience. A BuzzFeed journalist who was at the show noted that Chappelle made a trans joke—his exact breathless words: "It was a trans man"—right after the attack. Backlash against Chappelle, who has long been mired in commotion over transphobic remarks he made in his Netflix special, was swift, per Page Six. "Leave the trans community alone FFS ... words like this are why the trans community are the most victimized, assaulted and abused," one upset commenter posted online. "I'm glad he's ok but f--- Dave Chappelle," another noted. (Read more Dave Chappelle stories.)

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