The man whom comedian Andy Dick accused of assault in New Orleans said the comic groped him before the attack.
David Hale, 46, who was jailed Wednesday after allegedly sucker-punching the “NewsRadio” veteran early Saturday morning, alleged Dick grabbed his genitals before he hit the actor in retaliation, law enforcement sources told the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate.
Hale said he watched the comedian’s show at the French Quarter nightspot One Eyed Jacks on that night and was saying goodbye when the comic groped him. Hale reportedly became incensed and Dick winked at him, which led Hale to punch him, the sources told the outlet.
The New Orleans Police Dept. would not confirm the report on Hale’s allegations on Wednesday, and representatives for the comedian did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.
Instead, the NOPD issued a statement saying it “is investigating all allegations related to the altercation.”
“If further action is determined to be necessary, the appropriate measures will be taken,” a spokesman for the department said in a statement to The Times.
The 53-year-old comedian said he was unconscious for 15 minutes after the punch, which reportedly forced him into another object before he hit the ground. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where he was observed for a “possible brain bleed,” the Associated Press reported.
Surveillance footage showed the comedian standing on a crowded sidewalk chatting with other people when a man who had been standing nearby knocked him to the ground by punching him. The man then walked away and picked up a bottle that had been sitting on the sidewalk. Members of the crowd then ran after him.
Hale was booked Wednesday with one count each of second-degree battery and simple battery.
Dick’s representatives previously said the attack was unprovoked. However, law enforcement will likely investigate Dick to figure out if he committed a crime or was a victim, the Times-Picayune/New Orleans Advocate said.
The comedian canceled his second Saturday appearance in New Orleans after the incident and appeared in a wheelchair at another venue on Sunday. He was scheduled to appear at the Rec Room in Huntington Beach, Calif., on Tuesday but representatives for the venue could not be reached Wednesday.
The comedian has had numerous run-ins with the law over the years. In 2018, he was charged with misdemeanor sexual battery and simple battery for allegedly squeezing a woman’s buttocks and making lewd comments while passing her on a street. He later struck a plea deal by pleading no contest to lewd conduct and battery and avoided jail time.
Earlier that year, his longtime girlfriend was granted a restraining order against him after a domestic violence claim.
In 2011, he was sued for allegedly flashing his penis in a Dallas comedy club and rubbing his genitals in a male patron’s face. That case was settled in 2013.
In 2008, he was arrested in a drug and battery case in which he allegedly fondled a teen at a Murrieta, Calif., eatery.