Man held in attack on Dave Chappelle unrelated ahead of attempted murder count

Prosecutors in Los Angeles say public relations surrounding a onstage attack on comedian Dave Chappelle helped them arrest a suspect in an unrelated stabbing.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said Thursday his office had filed an attempted murder charge against Isaiah Lee. Earlier this month, Lee made headlines fighting Chappelle at the end of a performance at the Hollywood Bowl. Now, Gascón says his office has identified Lee as a suspect of a stabbing last year.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced earlier this month that his office had filed four misdemeanor charges against 24-year-old Lee, accusing him of storming the stage and assaulting Chappelle. Lee has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The video-captured incident garnered widespread attention and quickly became fodder for late-night television and social media.

Dave Chappelle at the NBA All Star Game
Los Angeles prosecutors said the high-profile assault on comedian Dave Chappelle during his performance helped them indict a suspect in an independent attempted murder investigation. Above, Chappelle watches during the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 20, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Gascón said in a statement Thursday that after all the attention drawn by the incident, Lee has been charged with attempted murder when he stabbed his roommate to death during a fight at a transitional apartment. According to Gascón, the unidentified victim claimed to authorities that Lee was the attacker in the stabbing, which had previously been reported to police.

“The publicity generated by the attack on Mr Chappelle has helped the police [with] this crime,” Gascón said in the statement. Due to the nature and severity of the attack in December, Mr. Lee now faces a felony charge, which my office will prosecute.”

After Chappelle was attacked at the end of his Netflix Is A Joke festival performance, a group including Jamie Foxx and Chris Brown rushed to defend the comedian before security stepped in. The comedian was not seriously injured and later joked about the incident.

Lee was initially charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he was found with a replica pistol and knife, police said. The charges were later reduced after the district attorney found the gun was not used during the attack.

The district attorney’s office said Lee pleaded not guilty to the new felony charge Thursday and is scheduled to return in court at the Foltz Criminal Justice Center on June 2. He is being held in the Los Angeles County Jail.

Lee’s representation in court is unclear at this time. Authorities have not given a motive for attacking Chappelle, who has been criticized for making jokes about the LGBTQ community.

news week has contacted the offices of the district and city prosecutors. Man held in attack on Dave Chappelle unrelated ahead of attempted murder count

Rick Schindler

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