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Videos: Comedian Dave Chappelle attacked on stage – attacker beaten, arm bent backward

Comedian Dave Chappelle. (Photo by John Bauld, Wikimedia Commons/Released)
May 04, 2022

Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked and tackled on stage while performing a standup set at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, Calif. on Tuesday night. Video taken after the attack showed the alleged assailant had been badly beaten after starting the confrontation and even had his arm bent backward in an unnatural position.

Footage shared by TMZ showed Chappelle performing when a suspect jumped up on the stage and charged at the comedian. Chappelle appeared to be knocked to the ground but was able to quickly get back up.

The security team for the event quickly rushed the stage and chased after the suspect. Chappelle also appeared to briefly chase after the suspect.

Newsweek reported the suspect had been arrested and identified as Isaiah Lee.

Footage shared on social media showed the suspect being taken away in an ambulance with his right arm bent completely backward. One Twitter user said the alleged assailant was left with his hands broken and dislocated.

“Someone attacked Dave Chappelle at his show and his security team left that man looking like Mojo JoJo,” one Twitter user said.

Newsweek reported Lee was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. The Los Angeles Police Department told NBC Los Angeles that Lee had been carrying a replica gun and a weapon that can eject a knife blade. It is unclear if Lee tried to use the knife at any point during the confrontation with Chappelle or his security.

Lee was removed from the venue, hospitalized for the injuries he sustained during the confrontation and arrested by LAPD.

Despite the attack, Chappelle appeared to have suffered relatively minimal physical harm. According to the New York Post, in his first joke after being attacked, Chappelle said his assailant was “a trans man.” Chappelle has been the subject of controversy for jokes he has made about the LGBT community. Some activists accused Chappelle of exhibiting “transphobia” with his jokes. In October of last year, dozens of activists and Netflix employees protested outside the streaming service’s Los Angeles headquarters over his jokes about the LGBT community.

Fellow comedian Chris Rock also joined Chappelle on stage after the attack. Rock grabbed the mic from Chappelle and jokingly asked “was that Will Smith” referencing the recent incident in which Smith approached Rock on stage at the Oscars and slapped the comedian after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.