Suspect Released Within Hours After Attack On GOP Congressman

A man who attempted to attack Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) with a sharp object during a campaign event on Thursday was released almost immediately on bail, according to the Monroe Sheriff’s Department.

Zeldin is the Republican nominee for governor of New York in this Fall’s 2022 midterms and was giving a campaign speech about bail reform, at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post when the attack occurred.

The alleged attacker has been identified as David Jakubonis, 43, of Fairport, N.Y.

Jakubonis was charged with attempted assault in the second degree.

The Sheriff’s Department said he was then let go within hours of the attack, however, and released on his own recognizance.

Shortly after the incident, Zeldin announced the suspect would likely be let go immediately because of New York’s relaxed criminal laws. The Republican tweeted about the issue in a recount of the quarrel, early Friday morning.

“His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done,’ but several attendees, including @EspositoforNY, quickly jumped into action & tackled the guy,” Zeldin wrote. “Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes. The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws.”

The Congressman came out of the scuffle physically unscathed, thanks to his own actions — and the reactions of those around him.


Jakubonis was tackled by American Veterans National Director Joe Chenelly, according to witnesses on the scene.

Chenelly issued a statement to Fox News Digital about the attempted murder describing it in detail.

“His right hand came up, I assume out of his pocket, and he had a blade on his hand,” Chenelly explained. “His fingers were like two finger holes in the blade and lunged at the congressman. And Congressman Zeldin blocked the first lunge. And then as he tried to lunge again, I grabbed him from behind and tackled him down to the ground and held him on the ground.”

Zeldin released a statement on his campaign Twitter account as well.

“Thank you to all who reached out following tonight’s attack,” the post read. “Grateful I was able to grab onto his wrist in time when he lunged for my neck. Grateful many individuals on site quickly jumped in & tackled him. Grateful for the local law enforcement who apprehended the attacker.”

Although Jakubonis tried to harm Zeldin, it’s possible his supporters will only be further emboldened by the attempted murder of their candidate of choice, making it a race to watch in the great state of New York.

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