While the man accused of charging at Dave Chappelle during a live performance Tuesday night appears to have escaped felony charges, Chappelle may be facing civil liabilities over his attacker’s injuries, a legal analyst said Thursday.
Chappelle was finishing up his Netflix is a Joke show at the Hollywood Bowl when 23-year-old Isaiah Lee allegedly ran on stage with a weapon and assaulted the controversial comedian.
Chappelle’s security team apparently tackled the attacker, who was later taken away from the venue on a stretcher with an apparent arm injury and bruises on his face.
“Believe it or not, Dave Chappelle and his team may be facing some civil liabilities when all of the dust settles,” legal analyst Alison Triessl told KTLA.
“If the threat was over and he was no longer a danger, and had been restrained, they can not take revenge on Mr. Lee,” Triessl said.
TMZ has released video where Chappelle can be heard talking about the attacker’s injuries and appears to be happy about the outcome.
“I felt good my friends broke his arm,” Chappelle is heard saying in the video.
Those words could cost Chappelle if a civil suit is filed.
“It is very possible that Dave Chappelle’s own words, where he says that he roughed the guy up, can be used against him in a potential civil manner down the line,” Triessl said.
The Hollywood Bowl may not be off the hook either.
Despite confiscating patrons’ cell phones ahead of the show, the security team somehow missed a replica gun that contained a knife blade.
“The Hollywood Bowl or the promoters involved in this show, including Netflix, may be facing civil liability for their lapse of security. Something went very wrong here,” Triessl said.
Felony charges will not be filed against Lee for the assault, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s office announced Thursday.
Gascón’s office has referred the case to the City Attorney’s Office, which filed four misdemeanor charges against Lee.
Misdemeanor charges carry a maximum jail sentence of one year in California.
Triessl was surprised the DA’s Office declined to pursue the case.
“Given the fact that this is a high-profile case and that Mr. Lee did assault Dave Chappelle with a weapon, it is surprising that the District Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges and referred this case to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office,” Triessl said.
The Los Angeles Police Department said that when Lee rushed on stage he had what appeared to be a handgun in his hand, but it turned out to be a replica that contained a blade.
Sources later told the Los Angeles Times, however, that Lee did not brandish the weapon, but it was found inside a bag he was carrying.