Isiah Lee, the 23-year-old man accused of tackling comedian Dave Chappelle to the stage floor during a performance at the Hollywood bowl has pleaded not guilty to four misdemeanor counts.
During the brief hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court, a judge ordered the suspect, who is held on US$30,000 bail pending further proceedings later this month, to stay away from the comic.
The judge said, Lee is to stay at least 100 yards away from 48-year-old Chappelle, after his release.
A spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office, which filed the charges, could not immediately be reached for comment. A public defender representing Lee also could not be reached for comment.
Lee was charged with misdemeanor battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault and two other misdemeanors.
Under California law, a misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail. In Los Angeles, the city attorney prosecutes misdemeanors while the district attorney is responsible for felony cases.
According to Police reports, Chappelle was performing at the Hollywood Bowl on Tuesday when Lee rushed at the comedian, knocking him to the ground. Lee was then subdued near the back of the stage as he sought to flee.
Chappelle returned to the stage after a short break and went on with the show, ad-libbing jokes about the incident while not appearing to be injured.
A representative of the comedian said on Wednesday that he was fully cooperating with police investigation.