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Man charged with misdemeanors in Dave Chappelle attack at Hollywood Bowl

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said the incident on stage was criminal but did not rise to the level of a felony.
/ Source: NBC News

A man who allegedly attacked comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl this week was charged Thursday with four misdemeanor counts, the city attorney said.

The misdemeanor counts were filed after the Los Angeles County District Attorney declined to charge Isaiah Lee, 23, with a felony in Tuesday’s attack.

“After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct,” DA’s Office spokesman Greg Risling said. It referred the case to the city attorney for misdemeanor consideration, he said.

Lee had been arrested by police on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, after he allegedly jumped on stage and tackled Chappelle around 10:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Police said Lee had a replica handgun that had a knife blade. Its size was not clear.

Sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that Lee did not produce the weapon during the incident or point it at the comedian, and that factored in the decision not to charge him with felony assault with a deadly weapon.

Lee was charged Thursday with misdemeanor counts of battery, possession of a 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.

Related: Dave Chappelle won’t allow attack to ‘overshadow the magic’ of the show, rep says

“This alleged attack has got to have consequences,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a video statement late Thursday afternoon.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office prosecutes felony counts, but the city attorney’ prosecutes misdemeanor cases.

If convicted on the misdemeanor counts, Lee faces up to 1 1/2 years in jail and a $4,000 fine, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office said.

Authorities have not released a motive in the incident. Chappelle was not injured.

The Hollywood Bowl, an amphitheater in the Hollywood Hills, is one of the most recognizable venues in Los Angeles.

Chappelle was there for the fourth night of the “Dave Chappelle and Friends” show, which was part of the Netflix Is A Joke Festival.

He was on stage introducing a musical act when he was tackled in front of shocked fans. After the incident, he continued with the show, which was near its end.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, which runs the Hollywood Bowl, said that it is reviewing security procedures “both internally and with the assistance of outside experts” in the wake of the incident.

“We have implemented additional security measures, including an increased number of security personnel on-site to assist with bag checks and other security procedures,” the organization, commonly known as the L.A. Phil, said.

A spokesperson for Netflix said: “Security is handled by venues and we’re actively discussing the security protocols for future events.”

Lee was being held in jail Thursday in lieu of $30,000 bail, which was the amount set after police arrested him on suspicion of the felony, the jail said. It was not clear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

A representative for Chappelle did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday evening after the misdemeanor charges were announced.

A spokesman for the comedian has previously said that Chappelle was cooperating fully with investigators.

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