Dave Chappelle's attacker says he tackled the comedian onstage because he was 'triggered' by his jokes: report

Dave Chappelle's attacker says he tackled the comedian onstage because he was 'triggered' by his jokes: report
Comedian Dave Chappelle was attacked onstage during a performance on May 3.Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
  • The man accused of attacking Dave Chappelle says he tackled him after being triggered by his jokes.
  • Isaiah Lee told the New York Post that he identified as bisexual and was offended by the jokes.

The man charged with battery for tackling Dave Chappelle onstage at the Hollywood Bowl said he attacked the comedian because he was "triggered" by his jokes.

Despite his actions, Isaiah Lee said he did not want to harm Chappelle, according to the New York Post's exclusive interview with Lee from the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles.

The 23-year-old was seen in videos from the event ramming into Chappelle during the "Dave Chappelle and Friends" show on May 3. Police said that Lee was carrying a knife attached to a fake gun during the incident.

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said his office filed four misdemeanor charges against Lee, including battery and the possession of a weapon with the intent to assault.

Lee told the Post that he identifies as bisexual, and wanted Chappelle "to know what he said was triggering."


"I wanted him to know that next time, he should consider first running his material by people it could affect," Lee said, per the outlet.

He told the Post he was offended by Chappelle's jokes about the LGBTQ community, and the comedian's references to homelessness.

"I'm also a single dad and my son is five," Lee said, per the outlet. "It's a struggle and I wanted Dave Chappelle to know it's not a joke."

Lee also claimed that he was pummeled and spat on by Chappelle's security, per the Post.

He also told the Post that Chappelle had asked him about his actions backstage. "I told him my mother and grandmother, who fought for his civil rights to be able to speak, would be upset at the things he said," Lee said, per the outlet.


A representative for Chappelle did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Lee is currently facing a separate, unrelated charge of attempted murder. He has been accused of stabbing his roommate during a fight at a transitional housing apartment on December 2.

Chappelle has speculated about Lee's mental state while mocking him and calling him "a homeless guy with leaves in his hair." Following the incident, the comedian's representatives told Insider that Chappelle has refused to allow the attack "to overshadow the magic" of his stand-up performance.