Accused Zeldin Attacker Now Facing Federal Assault Charges

Accused Zeldin Attacker Now Facing Federal Assault Charges

A man who allegedly attacked Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y. during a campaign stop near Rochester Thursday night is now facing federal assault charges of having “willfully” assaulted the congressman and gubernatorial candidate “with a dangerous weapon.”

According to the federal complaint filed by the FBI Saturday, the suspect, Army veteran David Jakubonis, 43, was to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian Payson later in the day, reports The New York Post.

Jakubonis, who was free on his own recognizance after being charged with second-degree assault, was taken into custody before noon by the New York State police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, reports The Daily Mail.

The outlet reported that a six-vehicle motorcade arrived at the apartment complex where Jakubonis lives and left with him in custody a short time later. 

According to the report, filed by an FBI agent after reviewing video and statements about the attack, Zeldin, who was not injured in the attack, was speaking from the bed of a flatbed trailer when Jakubonis walked onto the trailer and pulled on his arm.

The congressman was pulled to the bed of the trailer, the report says, and Jakubonis told him repeatedly “you’re done” while extending the weapon, described as a “pointed keychain” toward him. 

According to the agent’s affidavit, Jakubonis admitted to drinking that day and said that he did not know who Zeldin was or that he was a politician. He said the pointed keychain was something that had on him for self-defense. 

Several legal experts said Jakubonis’ actions called for more serious charges that would have allowed him to be held for bail. 

Zeldin, meanwhile, said on Twitter that “we cannot live in a state where someone who commits a felony trying to stab me on stage at a campaign rally then gets immediately released. New York’s cashless bail law must be REPEALED!  Kathy Hochul refuses to get this job done. I will!”  

Zeldin also said during a campaign stop in Watertown Friday that he has increased his security detail at campaign events this weekend.

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