Dave Chappelle’s ‘annoying’ attacker not facing felony charges: lawyer

Dave Chappelle is “upset” that his alleged armed attacker was not charged with a felony after attacking him while he was holding a gun onstage at the Hollywood Bowl, his attorney told The Post on Friday.

“It is a parody of the justice that DA [George] Gascòn refuses to prosecute this case as a felony,” said the comedian’s attorney Gabriel Colwell. “The City Attorney, who filed the case, is doing his job, but DA Gascón should also do his job and charge this as a felony.”

The 48-year-old comedian’s attorney asked the prosecutor to reconsider the charges, shortly after 23-year-old Isaiah Lee pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor charges for the attack on Chappelle caught on camera during his show Tuesday.

“This was a violent assault perpetrated against an unsuspecting artist while he was performing in front of thousands of people at the historic Hollywood Bowl,” said Colwell, a partner at Squire Patton Boggs.

“The idea that [Lee] he had a deadly weapon on him, one that was a replica of a gun that had a knife on it, that’s a violent assault.”

Police released a photo of the gun Isaiah Lee was carrying during the attack.
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Dave Chapelle.
Chappelle is reportedly upset about the charges against his attacker.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Netflix

He added: “Artists in Los Angeles need to know that 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, they should be charged as a felony.”

Gascon’s office insisted Friday that they would not have been able to prosecute Lee on a felony charge because video of the attack did not show him swinging the knife at Chappelle.


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“Our office was also unable to charge Mr. Lee with felony carrying a concealed weapon. Filing of that charge would only be allowed if the blade is locked in an open position. It does not appear that Mr. Lee opened the knife at any time during this incident,” Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, told The Post.

“We evaluated the possibility of pressing other charges as well, but found that the evidence did not meet the legal criteria for any felony. All misdemeanor matters within the City of Los Angeles are referred to the City Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.

The video still shows Isaiah Lee attacking Dave Chappelle on stage.
The video still shows Isaiah Lee attacking Dave Chappelle on stage.
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“It would be unethical to charge someone with a felony when elements of the statute are not met.”

The district attorney’s office was initially investigating the case after Lee was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, but ended up referring him to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office on Thursday, saying the high-profile incident did not warrant charges. serious crimes.

A few hours later, the Los Angeles City Attorney slapped Lee with four misdemeanor charges, including assault, possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage area during a performance, and commission of an act that delays the event or interferes with the performer.

Chappelle’s attorney said he believes the maximum penalty for the four misdemeanors is 1 1/2 years in jail and a $4,000 fine.

During Lee’s hearing, the defendant’s public defender said the 23-year-old was a good candidate for “fast diversion,” a California program that allows eligible defendants to avoid jail time if they complete the treatment or some kind of educational class.

Colwell said they disagreed, touting that Lee was in “possession of a deadly weapon.”

The attorney declined to comment when asked how Chappelle was doing physically and mentally after the high-profile attack.

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