Who is Aaron Lee? Dave Chappelle's attacker's brother calls Isaiah 'kind, humble, nice'
Aaron Lee admits that his younger brother Isaiah Lee has a history of mental health issues and takes psych medicine
The brother of Isaiah Lee, the 23-year-old man who has been arrested for the onstage attack of comedian Dave Chappelle, said that his younger sibling has struggled with mental health issues. Aaron Lee said that he is totally stunned by the incident. Isaiah attacked Dave Chappelle with a blade-firing fake gun during a concert titled 'Netflix Is A Joke' in Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 3. He had been carrying a fake handgun with a blade inside.
Aaron has now told Rolling Stone that in the last decade, Isaiah has been in and out of shelters in Hollywood, California. Lee also has many friends in the transgender community, Aaron said. He added that he does not believe that his brother is one who would “lash out” as an act of activism against Dave Chappelle.
After the attack, Chappelle rubbed the LGBTQ+ community the wrong way after joking that it was a “trans man” who assaulted him onstage. A video later emerged of Chappelle leaning into the microphone and quipping “that was a trans man", which was presumably a reference to his ongoing feud with the LGBTQ community over a series of remarks and jokes that many deemed transphobic.
Who is Aaron Lee?
Not much is known about Aaron except that he is Lee's older brother. “I don’t have anything negative to say about Isaiah. He’s a performing artist who tries to stay as positive as possible. He does have a history of mental health issues. He does take medicine. Maybe he missed out on taking his prescription. But he’s not the type to just lash out. I don’t understand,” Aaron, 31, said.
Isaiah is a wannabe rap star. He raps under the name “NoName_Trapper", and has a Spotify profile with nearly 6,000 monthly listeners. He was booked with felony assault with a deadly weapon over the attack. A track of one of his many albums is called 'Dave Chappell.' Most of the lyrics are mumbled but at one point he seemingly refers to getting into the Hollywood Bowl, which was where the attack took place. “Walkin’ straight into da Bowl,” he had rapped. The song was recorded in 2020 but ironically Chappelle was meant to perform a stand-up set at the Hollywood Bowl in May 2020, but it ended up getting canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking of the song, Aaron said, "That song wasn’t even about Dave Chappelle. It’s just that Dave Chappelle has a world-recognized name. People are searching Dave Chappelle all the time, so he hoped it would help him get more attention, more attraction, so people could find it. He doesn’t have any type of animosity toward him that I know about," he added.
Aaron said that he has not seen Lee lately but he thought his brother was staying with another family member, “getting better.” “He does take psych medicine, and that probably was a factor. And then maybe something triggered him acting like that. I don’t know,” Aaron said. “He’s not the type of person to attack you for no reason. But if he’s not on his medication, and if he feels everyone is against him, maybe that’s it.”
Many had speculated that Isaiah's attack on Chappelle could have been prompted by the comedian's controversial comments about the transgender community. Aaron, however, seemed unsure about the speculations. "He does have a connection with the transgender community,” Aaron said. "He used to stay at a shelter that helps transgender people. He’s been homeless since 11. He came out to California [from New York] after our grandmother died, and basically was in the streets getting help from different programs in Hollywood, like My Friend’s Place. He went to a lot of different organizations out there that help transgender people. Yeah, it could have definitely been a factor, but I really don’t know.”
“I don’t understand how this happened. He’s a gentleman. He is a kind, humble, nice person,” he added. Maybe if he was getting picked on, maybe he would defend himself. But I don’t understand why he would attack anybody. That doesn’t make any sense."
Former neighbors of Lee, however, have painted a completely different picture. They recalled how he had a habit of creating havoc in his apartment complex in California. Former neighbor Russell Taylor remembered Lee as someone who could be “set off with a word.” Isaiah 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 did not pay rent. Police visited the complex several times on calls related to the group, Taylor said, claiming that he personally witnessed police cuffing Lee on more than one occasion. 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,” the landlord told New York Post. He also called both Lee and his brother wannabe rappers whose music was “just awful.” “They are criminals. It’s emblematic on how bad things have gotten in this state.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles' woke DA George Gascon will not pursue felony charges against Dave Chappelle's attacker, Isaiah Lee. Gascon has reduced the charges to a misdemeanor instead. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's office announced on Thursday, May 5, that Isaiah won't face any felony charges. The case has now been referred to the LA City Attorney, Mike Feuer, who only handles misdemeanors. Gascon's office is famous for being in favor of low-or-no-cash-bonds. Now that Lee's case has been referred to Feuer because "the evidence as presented did not constitute felony conduct", the attacker might soon walk free. He is being held on a $30,000 bond at present.