LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The man accused of attacking comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl in May was ordered Friday to stand trial on an attempted murder charge in a separate case for allegedly stabbing his roommate at a transitional housing apartment last December.
Superior Court Judge Kevin Stennis rejected the defense’s request to dismiss the case against Isaiah Lee, 24, or to lower his $1 million bail following a brief hearing in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Lee was charged with the felony count May 18 in connection with the alleged attack on Dijon Washington, just under two weeks after he was charged by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office with four misdemeanor counts stemming from the alleged attack May 3 on Chappelle.
Lee’s former roommate testified that he “needed to have my small and large intestine sewn back up” after the stabbing last Dec. 2, saying he spent about seven to eight days in the hospital.
Washington agreed with Deputy District Attorney Anet Badali when she asked if it was safe to say that he and Lee were having some problems, describing tension between the two, including one incident in which police were called, in the days leading up to the alleged attack.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón was criticized by Chappelle’s attorney for declining to file any felony charges involving the alleged attack on Chappelle, but he maintained that what happened at the Hollywood Bowl was “misdemeanor conduct and rightfully referred to the City Attorney’s Office.”
The county’s top prosecutor subsequently said “the publicity generated by the attack on Mr. Chappelle helped police solve” the case involving the stabbing of Lee’s roommate, which had previously been reported to police.
Lee is due back in court for arraignment Sept. 30 on the attempted murder case, with a pretrial hearing set Oct. 3 on the case involving Chappelle, in which Lee is charged with one misdemeanor count each of 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 an event or interferes with a performer.
Authorities said Lee rushed the stage at the Bowl around 10:45 p.m. May 3 while Chappelle was performing as part of the Netflix Is A Joke Festival. Online video showed Chappelle being thrown to the ground by the suspect, prompting the venue’s security staff and Chappelle’s crew to rush on stage to subdue the assailant. Among those running to protect Chappelle was actor/comedian Jamie Foxx.
The suspect tried to scramble backstage after the attack, but he was forcefully subdued by security. Subsequent footage showed the bloodied assailant with facial bruises and a seemingly broken arm being placed on a gurney and taken away in an ambulance.
Chappelle was not injured and he continued to perform.
Chappelle, during a subsequent performance at the Comedy Store in Hollywood, told the crowd he was able to speak to the attacker before he was taken away by paramedics. The comedian said the suspect claimed to have carried out the attack to raise awareness of the plight of his grandmother in Brooklyn, who was displaced from her home due to “gentrification.”