After news that his attacker would only be charged with a misdemeanor, Dave Chappelle and his lawyer are urging the Los Angeles County District Attorney to rethink his decision.
The attacker, Isaiah Lee, pled not guilty to “misdemeanor battery, misdemeanor possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault and two violations related to storming the stage and interfering with a performance.”
“We request that DA [George] Gascón reconsider, correct this mistake and charge this as a felony,” said Colwell. “Entertainers in Los Angeles need to know that the justice system will protect them on stage.”
On May 3, Lee stormed the stage during Chappelle’s set at the Hollywood Bowl and tackled the entertainer. While the weapon was never used, it was later determined that Lee possessed a replica gun that had the ability to eject a knife blade.
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Because the comedian was not physically injured during the attack, the DA came to the conclusion that Lee’s “behavior under the California law did not, and I repeat, did not amount to felony conduct.”
During the investigation, the DA also checked to see if Lee had been stalking Chappelle, but there was no evidence to prove that he was.
“We have city prosecutors that handle misdemeanors, they have the jurisdiction,” said Gascón during a speech on Tuesday (May 10). “Mr. Chappelle’s case was reviewed by one of our deputies in our filing team and she made the right decision when she determined that the conduct in this particular case was misdemeanor conduct.”
Gascón also addressed people’s concerns after reports revealed that the same security company was hired during the Astroworld festival in Houston.
“[The county] is increasingly concerned that we’ll have a similar situation,” he said in reference to the November tragedy. “As one of the capitals of entertainment, we have to do better.”