Comedian attacked; and it’s not Chris Rock

Comedian Dave Chapelle was attacked by an audience member while performing at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday, May 3. Chapelle was doing a stand up show for Netflix when an audience member charged the stage and attacked him. Hollywood Bowl security immediately removed the assailant from the stage before Chappelle could be harmed. Chapelle’s friend and fellow comedian, Chris Rock, joked about the situation by alluding to an incident that occurred at the recent Oscars by asking, “was that Will Smith?” before introducing the final band of the evening. 

The attacker, identified in police reports as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee, was holding an open pocket knife at the time of the attack. On Thursday, May 5, Chapelle told an audience at a secret comedy show in Los Angeles that Lee had given the comedian the motivation behind his attack; his grandmother was kicked out of her neighborhood in Brooklyn due to gentrification and he wanted to use the attack on Chapelle to put some light on his story.

Lee’s older brother said Lee has a history struggling with mental illness and has been taking medication and living in and out of homeless shelters. On May 6th, Lee was found not guilty for his four misdemeanor charges.