Dave Chappelle’s ‘upset’ forward doesn’t face felony charge: lawyer

Dave Chappelle is “upset” that his alleged gun attacker hasn’t been charged with a crime after he attacked him while he was holding a gun on stage at the Hollywood Bowl, his attorney told the Post on Friday.

“It’s a travesty of justice that DA [George] Gascòn refuses to pursue this case as a crime,” said comic strip attorney Gabriel Colwell. “The city prosecutor, who filed the case, is doing his job, but DA Gascón should also do his job and charge this with a crime.”

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

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

“The idea that [Lee] had a deadly weapon on him – a replica of a handgun that had a knife on it – that’s a violent assault.

Police released a photo of the weapon carried by Isaiah Lee during the attack.
Dave Chappelle.
Chappelle is said to be upset by the charges against his attacker.
Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Netflix

He added: “Artists in Los Angeles need to know that it is a legal system that will protect them. There is no doubt here that when a person is violently assaulted by another in possession of a deadly weapon, it must be charged as a crime.

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

More coverage on Dave Chappelle’s attack:

“Our office also could not charge Mr. Lee with carrying a concealed weapon. The filing of this charge would only be allowed if the blade is locked in the open position. It does not appear that Mr. Lee opened the knife. at any time during this incident,” Greg Risling, a spokesperson for the LA County District Attorney’s Office, told The Post.

“We also assessed the possibility of filing other charges, but found that the evidence did not meet the statutory criteria for any criminal offence. All misdemeanor cases in the City of Los Angeles are referred to the City Attorney’s Office for review.

The video still shows Isaiah Lee attacking Dave Chappelle onstage.
The video still shows Isaiah Lee attacking Dave Chappelle onstage.
Ellis Kaplan

“It would be unethical to charge someone with a crime when the elements of the law are not being met.”

The DA’s office was initially investigating the case after Lee was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon – but ended up referring him to the LA City DA’s office on Thursday, saying the high-profile incident did not warrant a charge. felony charges.

Hours later, the LA City Attorney slapped Lee with four misdemeanor counts, including assault, possession of a deadly weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the scene during a performance and committing an act that delays the event or interferes with the performer.

Chappelle’s attorney said he believes the maximum sentence for the four counts is a year and a half 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 serving time. jail time if they complete treatment or some form of educational course.

Colwell said they disagreed, doubling down on the fact that Lee was in “possession of a deadly weapon.”

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

Jon J. Epps