Congressman Attacked at Campaign Event [Video]
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A man “attempted to stab” congressman and gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) at a rally in Perinton, New York.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Zeldin was onstage giving a campaign speech at a local VFW hall when a man “climbed up on the stage and approached Zeldin.”
“The male had a weapon in his hand, swung it towards Zeldin’s neck, and told him, ‘You’re done,'” the sheriff’s office said. “Members of the audience and Rep. Zeldin’s campaign restrained the male until deputies arrived and took him into custody.”
Authorities confirmed that there were no injuries as a result of the incident. The suspect, 43-year-old David Jakubonis, was charged with second-degree attempted assault.
“Jakubonis was arraigned in Perinton Town Court and released on his own recognizance,” the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said.
“Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport,” Zeldin tweeted late Thursday night. “Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him.”
Zeldin said he was grateful “for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded.”
Zeldin called for New York’s cashless bail law to be repealed after his attacker was released despite being charged with a felony.
“After being charged with a felony for last night’s attack, the man who tried to stab me was instantly released back onto the street due to New York’s insane cashless bail law,” Zeldin tweeted. “We MUST repeal cashless bail in New York!”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, Zeldin’s Democratic rival in the state’s gubernatorial race, said she was relieved to hear the congressman was not injured in the attack.
“I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York,” Hochul said.
President Joe Biden also condemned the attack on Zeldin in a statement issued on Friday.
“I condemn the attack on Congressman Zeldin in the strongest terms,” Biden said. “As I’ve said before, violence has absolutely no place in our society or our politics. I am especially grateful for the courage of those who immediately intervened, and that he is unharmed and was able to continue his speech.”
“I also want to thank the law enforcement officers who quickly took action and are investigating this attack that defies our fundamental democratic values,” he added.