Man Hunted For On-Stage Attack Of Comedian

Assailant rushed stage during comedy club set

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Comedy Club Attack


1/24 UPDATE: Police have arrested Marvin Toatley, 28, in connection with Sunday night’s attack at a Columbia comedy club. Toatley (seen here) has been charged with three counts of felony assault and malicious injury to property. Toatley, apprehended this morning by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office’s fugitive task force, is being held in the county jail.

JANUARY 23--Police are hunting for the man who jumped onto the stage of a South Carolina comedy club Sunday night and attacked a comedian who had earlier asked the assailant why he was not laughing at any of his jokes.

The suspect, cops say, was seated in the audience at the Comedy House in Columbia for a 10 PM set by performer Steve Brown.

During his routine, Brown spotted a stone-faced audience member and asked why he came to a comedy show if he was not going to laugh. Brown later told cops that the assailant was “kind of staring into space.”

When Brown (seen at right) asked the audience member if he was okay, the man replied, “Don’t fuck with me,” according to a Richland County Sheriff’s Office report. The suspect subsequently rushed the stage and sought to assault Brown (as seen above, the attack was recorded by an audience member). 

As patrons screamed, the assailant first threw punches at Brown, who ducked the blows. The attacker then picked up a microphone stand and swung it at Brown, causing the stand to separate. The “bottom piece, where most of the weight is located, flew off going into the crowd,” where it injured two victims, cops reported.

After continuing to swing a portion of the microphone stand at Brown (and throwing a stool at the performer), the suspect punched a security guard who tried to keep him from leaving the venue.

Witnesses identified the attacker as “Marvin,” and cops said that he was wearing “light tan pants, white t-shirt, black hoodie, dreads.” He fled the club inside a Gold Kia “possibly driven by his mother.” 

Brown, whose arm was slashed during the attack, and three other victims told police that they wanted to press charges.

As of Tuesday afternoon, “Marvin” had not been arrested, though police were aware of the suspect’s identity and expected that he will be apprehended shortly and charged with felony assault, vandalism, and simple assault. (3 pages)