A guy rushed on stage and attempted to stab US Congressman Lee Zeldin at a speech in his race for New York governor on Thursday, according to the candidate and officials.
Zeldin was unharmed, and his assailant was apprehended.
“His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done’,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted, thanking guests for their assistance, including fellow politician Alison Esposito.
“I’m ok … fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him.”
The suspect was identified as David Jakubonis, 43, of Fairport, by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. The motivation was unknown.
Witnesses shared video on social media showing a guy wearing a black baseball hat fast approaching Zeldin from the side of the stage at the gathering in upstate New York.
As many others attempted to apprehend the suspect, Zeldin shoved him aside and both men fell on the ground.
“Political scores should be resolved at the polls, not on stage at campaign events attempting to physically assault politicians with whom you disagree. This is not acceptable “Zeldin, who represents New York’s 1st Congressional District, made the statement.
CHARGE OF ASSAULT
Jakubonis, who is charged with second-degree attempted assault, had a weapon in his hand and swung it towards Zeldin’s neck, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.
According to the statement, members of the crowd and Zeldin’s campaign staff held Jakubonis until deputies came and brought him into prison. The defendant was arrested and freed on his own recognizance after being arraigned in Perinton Town Court.
Katie Vincentz, a representative for Zeldin’s campaign, said Zeldin continued his address after the incident and praised law enforcement personnel who reacted to the assault.
“Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody,” tweeted Democratic incumbent New York Governor Kathy Hochul, Zeldin’s opponent in the campaign.
“I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York,” Hochul said.