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Man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle pleads no contest, sentenced to 270 days in jail

Dec 15, 2022, 5:17 PM
Isaiah Lee pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges and entering a restricted area during ...
Isaiah Lee pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges and entering a restricted area during a live event, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office said. (Shutterstock via CNN)
(Shutterstock via CNN)

(CNN) — The man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle while he was performing at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this year pleaded no contest to two charges and was subsequently sentenced to 270 days in county jail Wednesday, officials said.

Isaiah Lee pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery charges and entering a restricted area during a live event, Ian Thompson, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, told CNN.

The defense filed a motion for judicial diversion, a program that when successfully completed would have the defendant’s case dismissed, Thompson said. Prosecutors opposed the motion and the judge ultimately denied it, he said.

CNN has reached out to Lee’s attorney for comment.

The weapon in the case, which was described by prosecutors as a replica handgun that included a knife blade, will be destroyed, Thompson said.

Lee is also facing attempted murder charges for an entirely separate incident. He is accused of stabbing his roommate during a fight at a transitional housing apartment last December, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Lee pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court in May to face the attempted murder charges.

“As a result of media reports about the Chappelle case,” a release from the DA’s office states, “the victim recently identified Lee as the person who committed the assault he had previously reported to police.”

“Based on the nature and severity of the December attack, Mr. Lee is now facing felony charges which my office will prosecute,” Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón said in the statement.

Chappelle was ‘tackled’ on stage

Chappelle was performing at the Bowl at “Netflix is a Joke: The Festival” on May 3.

He “had finished his act and as he was exiting the stage, a male who was part of the audience jumped on the stage and tackle(d) this celebrity to the ground,” Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Officer Lizeth Lomeli previously told CNN.

Lee was arrested and taken to a hospital for medical treatment, Lomeli said.

A representative for Chappelle, Carla Sims, released a statement after the attack, saying: “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show.”

“Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humor before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening,” Sims said, adding that Chappelle was “fully cooperating” with the police investigation of the incident.

“We care deeply about the safety of creators and we strongly defend the right of stand-up comedians to perform on stage without fear of violence,” a Netflix spokesperson told CNN in a statement after the incident.


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Man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle pleads no contest, sentenced to 270 days in jail