Los Angeles Police released images Wednesday of a replica handgun equipped with a knife blade that authorities said was recovered from a man who tackled comedian Dave Chappelle on-stage at the Hollywood Bowl.
Chappelle was not injured after the audience member rushed the stage and tackled him to the ground during a performance at the Netflix Is a Joke comedy festival. Security personnel took control of the man. LAPD officers then responded to the picturesque entertainment venue nestled in the Cahuenga Pass between the San Fernando Valley and Hollywood and arrested the suspect.
Police identified the suspect as 23-year-old Isaiah Lee. He was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon.
Police described the weapon as a replica handgun that contained a knife blade that can be ejected. It is unclear whether the suspect attempted to use the weapon.
“The suspect produced what was later discovered to be a replica handgun and pointed the item at the victim,” the LAPD said in a statement. “Hollywood Bowl uniformed security officers, who witnessed the incident, engaged the suspect and removed him from the victim and took him into custody.”
Lee’s bail was set at $30,000. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to represent or speak for him.
The motive for the attack is not yet clear.
Chappelle’s routine at the Hollywood Bowl included jokes and comments about increased security after widespread backlash over jokes he has made about the transgender community, according to Buzzfeed reporter Brianna Sacks, who was in the audience.
Chappelle’s spokesperson released a statement Wednesday.
“The performances by Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl were epic and record-breaking and he refuses to allow last night’s incident to overshadow the magic of this historic moment,” the spokesperson told NBC News in a statement. “As unfortunate and unsettling as the incident was, Chappelle went on with the show.”
The Los Angeles Philharmonic, which manages events for the Hollywood Bowl, released a statement Wednesday afternoon.
“The safety of our artists, visitors and staff is the LA Phil’s top priority,” the statement read. “The incident that occurred at the Hollywood Bowl on May 3, 2022 remains an active investigation, and we are unable to comment further at this time. Please refer additional questions to the LAPD.”
The suspect was hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the altercation with security team members. Details about the extent of the injuries were not immediately clear.
After the unsettling incident, comedian Chris Rock joined Chappelle on stage and quipped, “Was that Will Smith?”