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Monday, May 23, 2022 – The man who attacked comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at a Los Angeles comedy show has revealed that he was ‘triggered’ by the comedian’s jokes about gay people and homelessness, before telling him to be more sensitive.
Isaiah Lee, 23, was charged with four misdemeanors after the May 3 attack – 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.
He stormed the stage in Los Angeles and tried to attack Chappelle while carrying a folding knife attached to a fake replica firearm.
The comedian was able to sidestep Lee, and was unharmed. Lee was arrested at the scene, and taken to hospital with a broken arm.
On Sunday, Lee told The New York Post that he was not amused by Chappelle’s repartee.
‘I identify as bisexual and I wanted him to know what he said was triggering,’ Lee said Saturday at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.
‘I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect.’
He said he was excited to see Chappelle’s show, being recorded live for Netflix, but grew increasingly angry at the content.
He had been homeless before and said the jokes made him emotional and upset.
‘I’m also a single dad and my son is five,’ Lee told the paper.
‘It’s a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it’s not a joke.’
Lee said his breaking point came when another comedian in the show’s lineup made a joke about pedophilia, which he said brought back memories of being molested when he was 17.
Asked about reports that he suffers from mental health issues, Lee said they were ‘wrong’ and ‘inaccurate.’
His lawyer, however, has said he is receiving mental health services.
Lee also now faces attempted murder charges, after the confrontation led officials in Los Angeles to discover that he was the suspect in another crime.
He was accused of stabbing his roommate back in December at a ‘transitional housing program’ generally reserved for homeless individuals.
The Los Angeles district attorney, George Gascon is crediting the publicity surrounding Lee’s attack on Chappelle with helping the victim identify his alleged attacker.
‘The publicity generated by the attack on Mr. Chappelle helped police solve this crime,’ said Gascon in a statement.
‘The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl was misdemeanor conduct and rightfully referred to the City Attorney’s Office.
‘Based on the nature and severity of the December attack, Mr Lee is now facing felony charges which my office will prosecute.’
Lee pleaded not guilty to the stabbing charge. He is scheduled to return to court on June 2.