An attacker rushed comedian Dave Chappelle on stage Tuesday night during the Netflix is a Joke festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Now, less than 24 hours after security subdued the attacker, authorities have revealed his identity.
According to the New York Post, authorities identified the comedian’s attacker as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee of Los Angeles. Lee charged Chappelle during the 48-year-old comic’s set at the event. Footage shows him tackling Chappelle to the ground before security pursued him in a chase away from the stage.
LAPD spokesperson Lizeth Lemoli confirmed Lee had been carrying a replica firearm that contained a blade within. The outlet reported authorities booked Dave Chappelle’s attacker around 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday with $30,000 bail. Lee saw charges for felony assault with a deadly weapon.
After sending the comedian onto his back, the 23-year-old reportedly rushed from the stage. Soon though, security caught up with him, with event attendees reporting Lee sustained several injuries.
Authorities working the investigation remain unaware as to whether Lee had actually intended to use the blade. Further, the outlet could not confirm how Chappelle’s attacker managed to get the weapon past security. After all, attendees had to pass through metal detectors before entering the venue.
That said, some witnesses claim the event’s security detail was “a joke,” crediting Dave Chappelle’s team with stopping the attack. One individual said, “Seemed like Dave’s entourage, security and crew dealt with the situation.”
Dave Chappelle Attack Raises Concerns About Comics’ Safety Following the Will Smith/Chris Rock Incident
Dave Chappelle didn’t appear to suffer any serious harm in the attack. However, the incident drew some parallels to this year’s Oscars when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on an international broadcast.
Rock, who actually attended the Netflix is a Joke festival, joined Dave Chappelle on the stage after the attack, joking, “Was that Will Smith?!”
Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock continued with their sets on both occasions. In fact, Buzzfeed News reporter Brianna Sacks said, “Chappelle kept on while the guy was getting beat in the back.”
However, despite the jokes that have arisen from the incidents, they’ve raised concerns about the safety of stand-up comics at live events. Some individuals have highlighted the poor behavior audiences have demonstrated since concluding the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“What is really surreal about this,” Sacks added, “is that Chappelle talked about Chris Rock and the slap/new reality facing comedians/having more security with him and his wife being worried about him now.”
Hopefully, attacks like those enacted on Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle don’t become a regular thing. However, with that being a very real possibility based on Tuesday night’s events, some venues have considered bringing in added security guards, including preshow warnings, and even installing metal detectors.