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Comedian Dave Chappelle attacked on stage by knife-wielding man


A man who police say was armed with a replica handgun with an attached knife when he tackled comedian Dave Chappelle on stage at the Hollywood Bowl was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

Isaiah Lee, 23, of Los Angeles, was being held in lieu of $30,000 bail following his arrest Tuesday night.

Authorities said Lee rushed the stage at the Bowl around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday while Chappelle was performing as part of the “Netflix Is A Joke Festival.”

Online video showed Chappelle being thrown to the ground while the venue’s security staff rushed on stage to subdue his assailant. Among those running to protect Chappelle was actor/comedian Jamie Foxx.

According to the LAPD, the suspect was in possession of a replica handgun equipped with a retractable knife blade.

Social media reports from witnesses indicated that the suspect tried to scramble backstage after the attack, but he was forcefully subdued by security. Subsequent aerial footage showed the assailant being placed on a gurney and taken away in an ambulance.

Chappelle appeared to recover his composure in video footage after the attack. He joked, “It was a trans man,’’ a reference to controversy surrounding some of his own jokes in a previous Netflix special that some condemned as transphobic. Chappelle also thanked Foxx for helping to subdue the suspect.

The attack was eerily reminiscent of actor Will Smith’s assault of comedian Chris Rock during this year’s Oscar ceremony. Smith walked on stage at the Dolby Theatre and smacked Rock in the face after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Chris Rock, who performed earlier in the show Tuesday night, came on the Hollywood Bowl stage after the assault on Chappelle and joked, “Was that Will Smith?’’ Stephanie Wash, a journalist with ABC, tweeted.

There was no immediate word on how the suspect was able to carry a weapon into the venue.