The man released from police custody after allegedly attacking Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) during a campaign event Thursday night was arrested again Saturday on a federal assault charge.
David Jakubonis was charged at the state level with second degree attempted assault, but he was “released on his own recognizance” Thursday, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Jakubonis will now stand before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marion W. Payson Saturday to face his federal charge, Fox News reported.
Following his suspected attacker’s release, Zeldin pinned the blame on New York’s leftist bail law.
“After being charged with a felony for last night’s attack, the man who tried to stab me was instantly released back onto the street due to New York’s insane cashless bail law. We MUST repeal cashless bail in New York!” the congressman tweeted.
After being charged with a felony for last night’s attack, the man who tried to stab me was instantly released back onto the street due to New York’s insane cashless bail law. We MUST repeal cashless bail in New York! pic.twitter.com/7pMpulaOoJ
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) July 22, 2022
Video of the alleged assault showed the suspect jumping on stage and walking up to the Republican gubernatorial candidate while he was speaking at a Veterans of Foreign Wars Post in Perinton, New York.
Jakubonis then allegedly yelled “you’re done” and put a weapon near Zeldin’s face as he 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. Zeldin was fine following the incident and correctly predicted that his alleged attacker would be released from custody.
“His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done,’ but several attendees, including @EspositoforNY, quickly jumped into action & tackled the guy. Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes. The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws,” Zeldin tweeted.
In an interview with The New York Times, Jakubonis, a 43-year-old Army veteran who served in Iraq, revealed that he was battling a relapse from alcoholism while being treated for anxiety.
Jakubonis said that he jumped on stage to take the microphone away from Zeldin because someone told him Zeldin was “disrespecting veterans,” the Times reported. He also claimed he didn’t know who Zeldin was or that he was a gubernatorial candidate.
The alleged attacker further claimed he was holding a sharp cat-shaped object for self defense, even though he allegedly approached the congressman and put his weapon up to Zeldin’s neck. “The ears are plastic, but I guess they’re sharp,” he said. Jakubonis admitted he was “checked out” mentally and “asleep within” himself.