NEW YORK — A person brandishing a pointy object who attacked U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin because the Republican candidate for New York governor delivered a speech in western New York has been charged with tried assault.
“I’m OK,” Zeldin mentioned in a press release after the incident Thursday. “Fortuitously, I used to be capable of seize his wrist and cease him for a number of moments till others tackled him.”
David Jakubonis, 43, was arraigned and launched, a Monroe County sheriff’s spokesperson mentioned. It is not clear whether or not Jakubonis has an legal professional who can converse for him. A message looking for remark was left at a quantity listed for Jakubonis.
Jakubonis is an Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq in 2009 as a medical laboratory technician.
The incident occurred as Zeldin, who’s difficult incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul this November, was addressing a Veterans of Overseas Wars publish within the city of Perinton, outdoors Rochester.
The attacker climbed onto a low stage the place the congressman spoke to a crowd of dozens, flanked by bales of hay and American flags.
Movies taken by folks within the viewers confirmed Jakubonis stroll as much as Zeldin saying, “You’re performed,” after which attempt to seize him, bringing a pointed object formed like a cat’s head towards Zeldin’s neck as he reached for the congressman. Pictures of the thing urged it was a keychain meant to be worn on the knuckles for self protection.
Jacob Murphy, a spokesperson for Zeldin’s congressional workplace, mentioned Friday that Zeldin had a minor scrape from the incident. He mentioned Zeldin had not obtained any particular threats just lately.
In response to a query about what safety was on the occasion, Murphy mentioned: “Congressman Zeldin had personal safety on the occasion and legislation enforcement arrived on the scene inside a couple of minutes. Safety shall be elevated beginning with our first occasion this morning.”
Amongst those that helped to subdue the attacker was Zeldin’s working mate, former New York Police Division Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito.
In a press release, Hochul condemned the assault and mentioned she was “relieved to listen to that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody.”
New York Republican State Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy known as on Hochul to difficulty a safety element for Zeldin to guard him on the marketing campaign path.
“This might have gone rather a lot worse. This might have actually resulted in a horrible method tonight and that is unacceptable,” he mentioned.
Hochul’s press secretary Avi Small referred questions on offering Zeldin with a safety element to New York state police.
Zeldin, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who has represented jap Lengthy Island in Congress since 2015, is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and was among the many Republicans in Congress who voted in opposition to certifying the 2020 election outcomes.
He has targeted his marketing campaign on preventing crime however faces an uphill battle in opposition to Hochul. He’ll want to steer impartial voters — which outnumber Republicans within the state — in addition to Democrats in an effort to win the overall election.
Democrats are anticipated to deal with Zeldin’s vocal protection of Trump throughout each of his impeachments and objection to the election outcomes.
Related Press reporter Karen Matthews contributed to this report.
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