NY GOP gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin attacked on stage throughout marketing campaign cease close to Rochester

Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, was attacked throughout a marketing campaign cease close to Rochester in upstate Monroe County on Thursday night time — however escaped damage and managed to complete his speech.

Zeldin, additionally a sitting US congressman from Lengthy Island, was campaigning on the Veterans of Overseas Wars put up in Perinton when a person jumped on stage and lunged towards the lawmaker with an unknown weapon, in response to witnesses and video of the incident.

You are reading: NY GOP gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin attacked on stage throughout marketing campaign cease close to Rochester

“I noticed that he [was] approaching the congressman, so I jumped up on the stage,” witness Joe Chenelly instructed The Submit.

Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked by David G. Jakubonis in Peinton, New York, near Rochester.
Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked by David G. Jakubonis in Perinton, New York, close to Rochester.

“The congressman turned and confronted him. I assumed he may simply be there to hug the congressman or to, , possibly heckle him or one thing alongside these strains.”

The suspect was recognized as 43-year-old David Jakubonis of Fairport, NY.

Jakubonis was charged with tried assault within the second diploma and launched on his personal recognizance.

A blade is seen after the attack on Zeldin during a campaign stop.
A weapon is seen after the assault on Zeldin throughout a marketing campaign cease.
Metropolitan Republican Membership

After Jakubonis allegedly flashed the weapon and seemed to be wrestling with Zeldin, Chenelly tackled the person to the bottom.

“He reached into his proper pocket and pulled out what seemed to be a knife or a razor blade, possibly a boxcutter and lunged on the congressman,” Chenelly mentioned.

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Jakubonis allegedly shouted “You’re completed” as he approached Zeldin, in response to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Workplace.

Lee Zeldin attacked
The alleged attacker reportedly instructed Zeldin, “You’re completed” as he approached.

Zeldin tried to dam the suspect — who witnesses instructed WHEC was matted and presumably intoxicated — and the person lunged at Zeldin as soon as extra.

“I tackled him from behind and wrapped him up and dropped him on the fitting aspect on stage,” Chenelly mentioned.

Jakubonis was detained by numerous witnesses together with GOP candidate for lieutenant governor Alison Esposito.

The man jumped on stage during Zeldin's speech near Rochester.
The person jumped on stage throughout Zeldin’s speech close to Rochester.
Zeldin went to the ground while others in the crowd stopped the man.
Zeldin went to the bottom whereas others within the crowd stopped the person.
The Firing Pin, LLC/Fb
Lee Zeldin
Rep. Lee Zeldin was attacked by a person who jumped on stage throughout a marketing campaign cease.
William Farrington

Chenelly credited Esposito, a 20-year member of the NYPD, for grabbing the weapon out of the suspect’s hand.

Quickly after the incident, Zeldin received again on stage and completed his speech. Late Thursday, the congressman instructed The Submit through textual content he was “OK” and known as the ordeal “loopy.”

Zeldin additionally addressed the assault in a separate tweet, the place he mentioned, “Somebody tried to stab me on stage throughout this night’s rally, however thankfully, I used to be in a position to seize his wrist and cease him for a number of moments till others tackled him.”

The suspect is an Iraq Struggle veteran, in response to WROC-TV.

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Zeldin, who beat three different Republicans to seize the GOP nomination within the governor’s race in a main final month, faces Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Democratic incumbent, this November.

Hochul, in a tweet, condemned the assault on her GOP rival.

“My group has knowledgeable me concerning the incident at Lee Zeldin’s marketing campaign occasion tonight. Relieved to listen to that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody,” she mentioned within the tweet. “I condemn this violent conduct within the strongest phrases potential — it has no place in New York.”

Nassau County Government Bruce Blakeman, a Republican, additionally denounced the assault on Zeldin and used the incident in charge New York’s bail reform legal guidelines for “hovering crime.”

“Tonight’s assault on Congressman Lee Zeldin at a Monroe County marketing campaign occasion was way more than an assault on a single particular person. It was emblematic of an ongoing assault on our Democracy, our freedom and our very lifestyle,” mentioned Blakeman.

“There have to be actual modifications to ‘cashless bail’ legal guidelines, and we should help regulation enforcement to maintain neighbors secure and maintain those that endanger the general public accountable for his or her actions,” he added.

Regardless of Thursday night time’s scare, Zeldin plans to proceed campaigning upstate on Friday, with scheduled stops in Seneca, Onondaga, Jefferson and Lewis counties.

Extra reporting by Bernadette Hogan and Zach Williams

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