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23-year-old suspect Isaiah Lee will not face felony charges in Los Angeles over the on-stage ambush which targeted comedian Dave Chappelle Tuesday.
It marks another controversial policy division for district attorney George Gascon, who chose to pass off the case to the city attorney for possible misdemeanor charges instead.
The update from TMZ is that Isaiah Lee won’t be facing a felony assault charge in the case.
“After reviewing the evidence, prosecutors determined that while criminal conduct occurred, the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct,” said the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
The outlet noted that there is an increasingly growing rift between the Los Angeles Police Department and Los Angeles district attorney George Gascon. ABC reported that the case is now being sent to the LA city attorney’s office for potential misdemeanor charges.
According to the Associated Press, Lee is still being held in jail over the altercation. His bail was set at $30,000 and he was initially arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Spokespeople for Chappelle said in a public statement that they wouldn’t let the attack overshadow the success of the comedian’s well-received performance.
The New York Post discovered the suspect had a previous Spotify profile. Lee had a song dedicated to Chappelle, and in it he referred to the Hollywood Bowl, the location where he publicly confronted the comedian.
On Tuesday night, Lee allegedly lunged at Chappelle while the comedian was on stage during the Netflix Is A Joke comedy festival. According to witnesses, Lee was sitting in the front row and randomly made his move on Chappelle during his routine. He tackled the comedian to the floor and the two briefly wrestled, before Chappelle’s security team stepped in. A a replica gun with a knife was found on the suspect.
Chappelle continued his set immediately afterward, joking that “it was a trans man.”
The lenient policies of Gascon have been a running theme since at least December 2021, when a group of looters behind a robbery spree were released after being apprehended by authorities. In February 2022, Gascon urged California to drop the death penalty against a convicted murderer.
Last month, George Gascon was endorsed by a gang member who is currently in jail for murder.