Who owns CSC? Security firm for Dave Chappelle show IGNORED warning about knife-wielding man

CSC also provided security for the Las Vegas and Astroworld festivals that ended in tragedy


                            Who owns CSC? Security firm for Dave Chappelle show IGNORED warning about knife-wielding man
CSC which has come under fire for the lax security at Dave Chappelle's show was founded by Damon Zumwalt (inset); the company was also in charge of November's Astroworld festival where 10 people died (Twitter and Getty Images)
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The security company overseeing the 'Netflix Is a Joke' festival where Dave Chappelle was attacked by a man wielding a bayonet was also in charge of November's Astroworld tragedy, where a surging crowd trampled 10 people to death. Contemporary Services Corporation, or CSC, is one of North America’s largest event security companies, which has provided crowd protection at thousands of concerts, performances, and sporting events across the US, including Coachella and the Super Bowl.

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Over the past thirty years, hundreds of people have been injured and dozens have died at events where CSC was among the vendors who provided security, including 2017’s Route 91 Festival in Las Vegas, where a shooter killed 60 people, and the Astroworld Festival in November 2021. At the show, 10 people choked to death as the uncontrolled crowd pushed forward to get a better glimpse of the rapper Travis Scott during his headlining set. The company has also been sued dozens of times by attendees, employees, and victims’ families for claims including negligence, personal injury, battery, and assault, as well as labor law violations. 

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A comedian who performed that night, Tehran Von Ghasri, said that he was "shrugged off" when he tried to warn a CSC staffer about a hooded man who jumped over a barrier with his backpack on. The man, Isaiah Lee, quickly jumped over another barrier and tackled Chappelle while he was performing. Minutes before he was tackled, Chappelle told the packed audience that he had brought his own security onstage due to increased threats against comedians. And it was members of his detail who caught the attacker onstage, witnesses said. 

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CSC, had no "real hiring process" for last Netflix's Is a Joke festival, according to one staffer. "The firm — one of the largest event security companies in North America — routinely hires inexperienced staff and held a single security briefing just two days before the Netflix event," he added.

Isaiah Lee was seen tackling Dave Chapelle on stage (Twitter)

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Who founded CSC?

CSC is run by its founder, Damon Zumwalt, who started the company after his first year of college in 1967. Based in Northridge, California, CSC is now one of the nation’s largest security companies, with about 50 branch locations across the US and Canada and 60,000 workers, according to its LinkedIn. For over five decades, CSC has provided security services for five presidential inaugurations, two FIFA World Cups, 31 Super Bowls, and nine Olympic Games. Some of the events that CSC has provided security for, including the Las Vegas and Astroworld festivals, have ended in tragedy. 

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Travis Scott performs during the 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park on November 05, 2021, in Houston, Texas (Erika Goldring/WireImage)

Following the Route 91 shooting, Zumwalt told CNBC that there was “nothing” his company could have done to prepare for that kind of situation. “We plan for practically everything, but you don’t plan for something you can’t control, like a guy off-property,” he said. “That’s pretty devastating, and there’s just no real reason for that kind of insanity.”

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