Drunk ‘veteran’ released after trying to stab New York governor candidate

Screenshots from video below

Update: The man who tried to stab Rep. Lee Zeldin while wearing an Iraq War veteran hat has been released from jail.

43-year-old David Jakubonis was arraigned on a count of second-degree attempted assault and released on his own recognizance.

“This guy tried to stab a man running for Governor and is back on the streets?!?” Desi Cuellar, a GOP congressional candidate from Queens, tweeted. “New York has truly become a sick place run by criminals!”

Zeldin was giving a speech about bail reform at the VFW when Jakubonis, who was allegedly intoxicated at the time, attacked him.

According to Rochester First, AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly tackled and restrained Jakubonis.

Chenelly said he going to try and get Jakubonis the help he needs.

“When he said he served in Iraq, I got down hands on my knees and said, ‘You know, we’re going to get through whatever you’ve done here tonight,’ and told him, ‘You’re going to get better and focus on that,’ and said, ‘You can contact me after this thing is done,.” Chenelly said. “I was told not the engage with him right now. I think it’s very important we obviously have a mental health crisis nationwide— not just with our veterans but we especially have it with our veterans.”


Tim Balk, New York Daily News

A man attempted to stab Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor of New York, as he delivered a campaign speech near Rochester on Thursday night, according to his campaign and video from the event.

Zeldin, a 42-year-old lawmaker who represents a Long Island district, grabbed the assailant’s wrist, and others present restrained the man before authorities took him into custody, said Katie Vincentz, a spokeswoman for the candidate.

“Congressman Zeldin went back on stage to finish his remarks and thank the law enforcement officers who responded to the scene,” Vincentz wrote on Twitter.

Nick Langworthy, chairman of the New York GOP, said in a statement that the attack in Fairport could “have ended much worse.”

“Thanks to the swift action of several brave eventgoers, the perpetrator was subdued,” he said in the statement.

WHEC-TV reported that audience members held the disguntled attacker with zip ties drawn from campaign posters, and that the Monroe County Sheriff’s office arrested him.

Video published by the station showed a man holding a sharp object as he stood near Zeldin and repeatedly said, “You’re done.” In the video, a group pulls the man — and Zeldin — to the ground.

Gov. Hochul, the Democrat who is running to retain her seat, said she was aware of the attack.

“Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody,” she said on Twitter. “I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York.”


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