Dave Chappelle Assault Suspect’s Brother: ‘He’s Not the Type to
The brother of the man arrested for the onstage assault of Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl says he is stunned by the incident, and wants people to know that his younger brother has had mental health issues and not has a house.
Police say 23-year-old Isaiah Lee stormed the stage Tuesday night at Netflix’s It’s a Prank Fest and accosted the comedian before security could intervene. Lee was in possession of a replica weapon that could expel a knife blade when he was arrested and later booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, authorities allege.
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“I’ve been doing this for 35 years. I just stomped on a n—a backstage,” Chappelle joked after the incident, according to videos of attendees posted online. “I always wanted to do that.”
Lee’s brother, Aaron Lee, tells the Rolling Stone that Isaiah has been in and out of shelters in Hollywood, California for much of the past decade and has many friends in the transgender community. Even so, Aaron doesn’t think his brother “attacks” as an act of activism against Chappelle, who recently drew the ire of the LGBTQ community for jokes about trans people.
“I have nothing negative to say about isaiah. he is an artist who tries to stay as positive as possible. he has a history of mental health problems. he takes medicine. he maybe he missed taking the recipe from him. but he’s not the type to just lash out. I don’t understand,” says Aaron, 31.
young lee has rapped under the name noname trapper and posted a song online two years ago titled “dave chappell.” His brother says that Isaiah only chose that title to get search engine results. Aaron says he’s never heard his brother express ill will toward the comedian.
“That song wasn’t even about Dave Chappelle. it’s just that dave chappelle has a world renowned name. people look for dave chappelle all the time, so i hoped it would help him get more attention, more attraction, so people could find him,” says aaron. “He doesn’t have any kind of animosity towards him that I know of.”
aaron says he hasn’t seen his brother recently and thought he was staying with another family member, “getting better”.
“He takes psychiatric medications and that was probably a factor. and then maybe something made him act that way. I don’t know,” she says. “He’s not the type of person to attack you for no reason. but if he’s not taking his medication and he feels like everyone is against him, maybe that’s it.”
As for speculation that the videotaped assault may have been related to Chappelle’s controversial comments about the transgender community, Aaron wasn’t sure. “He has a connection to the transgender community,” Aaron tells Rolling Stone. He “he used to stay at a shelter that helps transgender people. he has been homeless since he was 11 years old. he came to california [from new york] after our grandmother died, and he was basically on the streets getting help from different programs in hollywood, like my friend’s place. he went to many different organizations that help transgender people. yeah, he definitely could have been a factor, but I really don’t know.”
“I don’t understand how this happened. He is a gentleman, he is a kind, humble, nice person, ”she adds. “Maybe if they were bullying him, maybe he’d fight back. but I don’t understand why he would attack someone. that doesn’t make any sense,” he says.
a buzzfeed news reporter, brianna sacks, was on the show Tuesday night and tweeted a video purporting to show isaiah being loaded into an ambulance.
isaiah lee remained in custody Wednesday in lieu of $30,000 bail, online jail records show.
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