The LA County District Attorney’s Office declined to pursue felony charges against the suspect involved in the onstage attack on comedian Dave Chappelle while filming at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday.
“After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors have determined that although criminal conduct did occur, the evidence as presented does not constitute criminal conduct,” a department spokesperson said in a statement provided. to The Hollywood Reporter. “The District Attorney’s Office does not prosecute misdemeanors in the City of Los Angeles.”
The DA referred the case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where it will consider possible misdemeanor charges.
The attack took place around 10:40 p.m. as Chappelle attempted to leave the Hollywood Bowl stage after completing a set during the Netflix comedy festival Is a Joke. It was then that 23-year-old suspect Isaiah Lee rushed onto the stage and tackled Chappelle to the ground. The suspect was apprehended by site security and eventually turned over to the LAPD. Lee was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and is being held on $30,000 bond.
At the time of the attack, Lee was carrying a replica handgun with a knife blade inside, authorities said. Chappelle was not injured in the incident and is cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation.
A statement provided to THR by Chappelle’s rep on Wednesday claimed the comedian would refuse to have the incident “overshadow” his appearances during the comedy festival.
“Chappelle’s performances at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to let last night’s incident overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” his rep, Carla Sims, said. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This race ties Chappelle to Monty Python for the most successful shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70,000 fans from diverse walks of life during the first Netflix is a joke: the festival.”
In its own statement, Netflix said, “We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence.”
The attack took place last night during a string of festival appearances for the comedian. Chappelle headlined the festival’s opening night on April 28, delivering three more sets – including Tuesday’s – before finishing his run. During the four nights of the show, participants had to secure their phones at the entrance to the venue to avoid any potential recording. Festival-goers also had to go through security and metal detectors.
Netflix Is a Joke is one of the streamer’s biggest forays into live event programming, with the company’s first-ever comedy festival hosting more than 250 events in Los Angeles between April 28 and May 8. Taking place at various venues including the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium, Improv and Laugh Factory, the comedy festival features sets from some of the biggest names in the industry, including David Letterman, John Mulaney, Amy Schumer, Bill Burr, Kevin Hart, Chris Rock, Ali Wong, Chelsea Handler, Pete Davidson and Hasan Minhaj.
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