The saga of the suspect that allegedly attacked Dave Chappelle at a Netflix comedy show continues with news that the they have entered a plea of “Not Guilty.” KNX Los Angeles reporter Craig Fiegener brings word of the plea, tweeting that: “Isaiah Lee, 23, has pleaded not guilty.” Last night came word that the suspect was not being charged with a felony but instead would be charged with four misdemeanors including 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 an event or interferes with a performer (the later two LA Municipal code violations according to Fiegener).
The event took place during the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival earlier this week, occurring around 10:40pm on Tuesday. While Chappelle was preparing to depart the stage, Lee rushed the performer and tackled him, before being apprehended by the venue’s security. It was later revealed that they had a knife on their person that was inside what appeared to be a fake firearm. Attendees did not have cellphones readily available so footage of the event did not immediately circulate online
In a statement, LAPD said: “Hollywood officers responded to a call for service and took control of the suspect. The replica handgun that also contained a knife blade was recovered and later processed as evidence. The suspect was arrested for Assault with a Deadly Weapon. He was transported to a local hospital to treat injuries sustained during the altercation with security. The victim was not injured as a result of the assault. The suspect was treated and cleared to be processed by medical staff.”
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” Carla Sims, Chappelle’s representative, said in a statement. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70,000 fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival.”
“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,” Netflix echoed in a statement.
(Cover Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)