Dave Chappelle’s attacker has pleaded not guilty.
After the unexpected attack onstage by an audience member during his show Tuesday night, Isaiah Lee, 23, pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanour counts. He is currently being held on $30,000 bail but if he manages to post it, he will have to stay 100 yards away from Chappelle and the Hollywood Bowl, reports Deadline.
Lee will return to court on May 20 and could face up to 18 months in county jail and/or up to $4,000 in fines.
Chappelle recently released a statement on the attack, refusing to let it overshadow the historic night.
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” his representative Carla Sims said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Dave Chappelle celebrated four nights of comedy and music, setting record-breaking sales for a comedian at the Hollywood Bowl. This run ties Chappelle with Monty Python for the most headlined shows by any comedian at the Hollywood Bowl, reaching 70k fans of diverse backgrounds during the first Netflix Is A Joke: The Festival, and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment.”
In the middle of his routine during the Netflix Is A Joke Fest, an audience member tackled Chappelle to the ground. The man was quickly taken away by security as friends like Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock stepped forward to help the comedian.
The LAPD confirmed the man was carrying a weapon that could eject a knife blade, but Chappelle was not injured in the incident.
“As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was,” the rep continued. “Chappelle went on with the show. Jamie Foxx and Chris Rock helped calm the crowd with humour before Chappelle introduced the last and featured musical guests for the evening, hip-hop artists yasiin bey and Talib Kweli, a.k.a. Black Star, who performed music from their new album – the first in nearly 24 years – which was released on Luminary. Other special comedic guests last night included Earthquake, Leslie Jones, Jeff Ross, Sebastian, Jon Stewart and Michelle Wolf.”
Netflix also wrote in a statement, “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.”
The 48-year-old comedian’s act was part of Netflix’s 11-day stand-up comedy festival spread across 25 venues in Los Angeles with comics including Seth Rogen, Chelsea Handler, Aziz Ansari, Bill Burr and Conan O’Brien.