Two new court dates were set Thursday for the man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle on stage last month at the Hollywood Bowl and is charged separately with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing his roommate at a transitional housing apartment last December.
Isaiah Lee, 23, is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom July 20, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial in connection with the alleged attack on his roommate last Dec. 2.
Meanwhile, he is due back Aug. 8 on four misdemeanor charges stemming from the alleged attack May 3 on Chappelle.
Deputy Public Defender Chelsea Padilla — who represents Lee on the misdemeanor case — told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian that the case was being trailed to see if there is a disposition by then on the felony case against Lee. No mention of a possible disposition was made during Lee’s brief appearance on the felony case.
Deputy City Attorney Giselle M. Fernandez told reporters outside court that “an offer has been extended by the city attorney” on the misdemeanor case, but that it has not yet been accepted.
Lee was charged May 5 by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office with one misdemeanor count each of 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.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the suspect was in possession of a replica handgun equipped with a retractable knife blade.
The District Attorney’s Office issued a statement saying, “After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct.”
According to an internal review of the case, prosecutors noted that Chappelle was not injured in the attack and Lee did not have the weapon in his hand at the time. They noted that the switchblade was never extended during the attack and there was no sign Lee held any actual animosity toward the comedian.
Authorities said Lee rushed the stage at the Bowl around 10:45 p.m. May 3 while Chappelle was performing as part of the Netflix Is A Joke Festival. Online video showed Chappelle being thrown to the ground by the suspect, prompting the venue’s security staff and Chappelle’s crew to rush on stage to subdue the assailant. Among those running to protect Chappelle was actor/comedian Jamie Foxx.
The suspect tried to scramble backstage after the attack, but he was forcefully subdued by security. Subsequent footage showed the bloodied assailant with facial bruises and a seemingly broken arm being placed on a gurney and taken away in an ambulance.
Chappelle was not injured and he continued to perform.
Chappelle’s attorney, Gabriel Colwell, subsequently blasted the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office decision to decline any felony charges.
“It’s a travesty of justice that (District Attorney George) GascÃ³n is refusing to prosecute this case as a felony,” Colwell told the New York Post. “The city attorney, who filed the case, is doing his job but DA GascÃ³n should also do his job and charge this as a felony.
“… Entertainers in L.A. need to know this is a justice system that will protect them. There is no question here that when someone is violently assaulted by another in possession of a deadly weapon that it should be charged as a felony.”
The felony case against Lee involving his roommate was filed May 18 after the alleged victim recently identified him as the person who committed the attack which he had previously reported to police, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
“The publicity generated by the attack on Mr. Chappelle helped police solve this crime,” GascÃ³n said in a written statement announcing the latest charge against Lee. “The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl was misdemeanor conduct and rightfully referred to the City Attorney’s Office.”
The county’s top prosecutor said Lee is now facing the felony charge as result of the “nature and severity of the December attack.”
Lee has remained behind bars since his May 3 arrest by Los Angeles police in connection with the alleged attack on Chappelle.
On Instagram, Lee goes by the moniker “Noname_Trapper,” an aspiring rapper whose work includes a 2020 song titled “Dave Chappelle.” Lee posted a short video on Instagram on the day of the attack, saying nothing but showing him wearing the same hooded sweatshirt in which he is pictured wearing while handcuffed to the paramedics’ gurney after the attack. He used a video filter showing himself with devil-like horns on his head and blood trickling from his nose — also similar to the blood seen on his face following his detainment at the Bowl.
Chappelle, during a subsequent performance at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, told the crowd he was able to speak to the attacker before he was taken away by paramedics. The comedian said the suspect claimed to have carried out the attack to raise awareness of the plight of his grandmother in Brooklyn, New York, who was displaced from her home due to “gentrification.”
Lee has been ordered to remain at least 100 yards away from Chappelle, the Hollywood Bowl and any venue where Chappelle is performing if he manages post bail and is released from custody.