According to witnesses, Zeldin, who is the Republican candidate for governor in the state, was speaking on bail reform when the alleged attacker jumped on stage and started yelling, WIVB4 reported. The suspect was then wrestled with before pulling out a blade. Zeldin was reportedly unharmed and finished his speech after the suspect was taken away.
— Ian Bradley (@bornawinner92) July 22, 2022
A photo of the weapon the alleged attacker pulled out on stage showed what appeared to be a small blade with grips.
A photo of the weapon the suspect used in Monroe County to attack Lee Zeldin earlier this evening. Appears to have holes for gripping purposes and long sharp point. #LeeZeldin pic.twitter.com/iNjxCjWtr4
— Metropolitan Republican Club (@metgopclub) July 22, 2022
Shortly after the attack, video surfaced showing a man jumping on stage and walking up to the Republican congressman. He then put his fist up to Zeldin’s face and grabbed his arm. According to reports, AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly quickly came to Zeldin’s aid and took the alleged attacker to the ground, and the suspect brought Zeldin to the ground on top of him. The gubernatorial candidate was quickly helped up as the suspect was detained.
— The Daily Sneed™ (@Tr00peRR) July 22, 2022
Fox News reported that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said it is “aware of an incident at the speech of gubernatorial candidate Zeldin this evening. A suspect is in custody and Major Crimes is investigating. We will update as further information becomes available.”
Zeldin handily won the GOP nomination for governor last month, and is now set to face interim Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul, who took over for disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo following his resignation last August.
The House Foreign Affairs and Financial Services Committee member has held his seat in Congress since 2015 despite his battle with cancer that began in 2020. Zeldin revealed last September that he received a cancer diagnosis in November 2020, and had achieved complete remission.
This is a developing story; refresh the page for updates.