The armed man who attacked Dave Chappelle on stage in Los Angeles was a “wanna-be rapper” with a temper who was known for creating havoc in his apartment complex, former neighbors said.
Isaiah Lee, 23, was arrested after he bumrushed Chappelle while carrying a strange knife that looks like a handgun in a caught-on-video attack at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday night.
Former neighbor Russell Taylor remembered Lee as someone who could be “set off with a word.”
“Whatever Chappelle was saying and he was not feeling, it would be no surprise to me that he would go, ‘Hey, I’m going to run up and fix it!’ ” said Taylor, who lived in a Redondo Beach, California condo next to a condo where Lee resided.
“You know the slap heard around the world? This is the kind of guy who would take action if you do something he did not like.”
Lee had lived with his brother and brother’s girlfriend at the condo off and on for about two years, but the landlord said only the brother’s girlfriend had been on the lease and that Lee didn’t pay rent.
Taylor remembered the brothers for blowout arguments with each other and neighbors that shook the normally quiet street. Police visited the complex several times on calls related to the group, Taylor claimed, and he said he personally witnessed police cuffing Lee on more than one occasion.
“They would be screaming and yelling in front of the street almost every weekend,” Taylor claimed.
“They would always come back after an hour at the police department or the next day. It got bad around here — threatening each other with knives.”
The brothers often talked about being from New York, with Taylor claiming Lee meant that as a brag to say “New Yorkers don’t take any crap from anybody.”
The landlord of the building where Lee had stayed described him as a “very troubled person” who came from a very hard upbringing.
“One minute he would be happy, and then the next, his mood would drastically change,” said the landlord, who asked to be referred to by his nickname “Bobby.”
Lee was never seen working and Bobby said Lee’s older brother Aaron was evicted about eight months ago for breaking down a door in the condo.
“I’m just glad they didn’t burn my house down,” Bobby said of the brothers. Isiah Lee raps under the name NoName_Trapper and has a verified Spotify account and a song called “Dave Chappell” but Bobby called both brothers wannabe rappers whose music was “just awful.”
“They are criminals,” Bobby said. “It’s emblematic on how bad things have gotten in this state.”