Chappelle Attack Lands Man 270 Days in Jail

Comedian was attacked onstage in May by Isaiah Lee while performing at Hollywood Bowl
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2022 6:48 AM CDT
Updated Dec 16, 2022 8:10 AM CST
Dave Chappelle Attacked Onstage at Comedy Fest
This photo combination provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows the fake handgun with the real knife blade inside that was taken from the man who attacked comedian Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl, Tuesday, May 2, 2022   (Los Angeles Police Dept. via AP)
UPDATE Dec 16, 2022 8:10 AM CST

The man who attacked Dave Chappelle during a Netflix event at the Hollywood Bowl in May has been sentenced to 270 days in jail. Isaiah Lee, 24, pleaded no contest to one charge of misdemeanor battery and one charge of entering a restricted area during a live event, People reports. Lee, who said he was "triggered" by the comedian's jokes about the LGBTQ community and homelessness, was carrying a knife concealed in a fake gun when he rushed the stage and tackled Chappelle, who was not injured. After the Chappelle attack, Lee was charged with the Dec. 2021 attempted murder of a former roommate at a transitional living facility in Los Angeles, who recognized him in media coverage.

May 4, 2022 6:48 AM CDT

Dave Chappelle performed Tuesday evening at the "Netflix Is a Joke" comedy fest in Los Angeles, but what happened to him at the end of his set definitely wasn't a planned part of the night's humor. Cops say the 48-year-old comedian, who was performing at the Hollywood Bowl, was rushed by a man with a replica gun as his show was wrapping up, with various video clips showing a person who appears to be Chappelle getting knocked to the ground as multiple people dashed onstage to help him, per NBC Los Angeles. There aren't too many angles available showing what happened, as guests' phones were supposed to be confiscated at the door (one person who shot video claimed it slipped their mind they had a second phone in their bag).

Police, who aren't talking motive yet, say the weapon the alleged attacker had featured a knife blade that can pop out, though it's not clear if he tried to use it on Chappelle during the incident. Chappelle wasn't injured. He can be seen back on his feet just seconds later, joking about what had just happened. "I am going to kill that [unclear]," Chappelle said after picking the mic up off the floor, as seen in the video shown on NBC. Among those reportedly on hand to come to Chappelle's rescue: fellow comedian Jamie Foxx, notes Deadline. "Whenever you're in trouble, Jamie Foxx will show up in a sheriff's hat," Chappelle joked later. "I thought that was part of the show," Foxx replied.

story continues below

BuzzFeed journalist Brianna Sacks, who was on the scene as a ticket-holder, reported that several security guards "punched and kicked" the alleged attacker, per the New York Times. Sacks posted video on Twitter showing the man being placed into an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital with "superficial injuries," per the LAPD. Sacks added that, right before the attack, Chappelle "had literally just said he now has more security because of all the uproar from his jokes about the Trans community." Deadline notes the incident took place just weeks after Will Smith took to the stage at the Oscars to slap Chris Rock. Newsweek reports on an Instagram post showing Rock, who'd performed Tuesday before Chappelle, come onstage to embrace Chappelle after the incident, joking into the mic, "Was that Will Smith?" (More Dave Chappelle stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.