The man who attacked Dave Chappelle onstage during a comedy show in Los Angeles earlier this month said he was ‘triggered’ by the comedian’s jokes about gay people and homelessness, and told Chappelle he should be more sensitive.
Isaiah Lee, 23, was charged with four misdemeanors after the May 3 attack – assault and battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage during a performance and commission an act that delays the event or interferes with the performer.
He stormed the Los Angeles stage and attempted to tackle Chappelle while carrying a folding knife attached to a fake replica gun, in front of a high profile crowd including the likes of Elon Musk.
The comedian was able to avoid Lee and was unharmed. Lee was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital with a broken arm.
On Sunday, Lee told the New York Post that he was not amused by Chappelle’s repartee.
“I identify as bisexual and I wanted him to know what he was saying was triggering,” Lee said Saturday at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
“I wanted him to know that next time he should first consider getting his material through people he might affect.”
He said he was thrilled to see Chappelle’s show, recorded live for Netflix, but grew increasingly angry at the content.
He had previously been homeless and said the jokes made him emotional and upset.
Isaiah Lee, 23, is seen in Los Angeles court following his attack on Dave Chappelle
Lee previously allegedly jumped onto the stage and attempted to attack Dave Chappelle, who was able to avoid his attacker and avoid injury. Lee carried a knife and inside a replica gun
Lee, 23, said on Saturday he attacked Chappelle because he found his comedy ‘trigger’
“I’m also a single dad and my son is five,” Lee told the newspaper.
“It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.”
He said his breaking point came when another comedian on the show’s lineup made a joke about pedophilia, which Lee said brought back memories of him being assaulted at age 17 years old.
Asked about reports that he suffers from mental health issues, Lee said they were “wrong” and “inaccurate”.
His lawyer, however, said he was receiving mental health services.
Lee also faces attempted murder charges, after the confrontation led Los Angeles officials to discover he was a suspect in another crime.
He was accused of stabbing his roommate in December during a “transitional housing scheme” usually reserved for the homeless.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon credits the publicity surrounding Lee’s attack on Chappelle with helping the victim identify her alleged attacker.
“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 a misdemeanor and was rightfully referred to the City Attorney’s Office.
“Based on the nature and severity of the December attack, Mr. Lee now faces felony charges which my office will pursue.”
Lee pleaded not guilty to the stabbing charge. He is due back in court on June 2.
Lee was charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his roommate in December
Lee broke his arm after security arrested him and took him off stage
Lee originally pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor counts when arraigned in connection with the attack on Chappelle, in which the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue felony charges. .
He faces only 18 months in prison if convicted.
Lee’s attorney said the man never brandished his concealed weapon at any time when he stormed the scene.
Chappelle has yet to publicly react to the decision, but on a comedy show, the comedian revealed he has spoken with the striker.
The 23-year-old was taken into custody during the event and then taken to hospital. He is now in jail
This is the gun Lee had when he tried to attack Chappelle onstage.
Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon (pictured) did not pursue felony charges against Lee, who now only faces misdemeanor charges for Chappelle’s attack
Chappelle said he asked the police if he could speak to Lee.
“I needed to talk to him,” Chappelle told his audience in LA’s Comedy Store’s secret 70-chair room, the Belly Room, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Chappelle said the attack was due to Lee’s grandmother from Brooklyn, who was forced out of her neighborhood due to gentrification, and the stunt was meant to draw attention to the issue.
He joked about the situation alongside fellow comedian Chris Rock, who was slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars, saying, “At least you got slapped by someone big name!” I was hit by a homeless man with leaves in his hair.
Gascon’s office — which is notoriously pro-licensed of low-to-no-cash bonds — chose not to pursue the most serious line of punishment on the concealed weapon.
Instead, they referred the case to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, recommending a misdemeanor charge because “the evidence as presented did not constitute criminal conduct,” according to ABC.
When announcing the charges, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer appeared to issue a veiled criticism of the DA, saying, “My office takes protecting public safety very seriously.”