August 7, 2022

Rep. Zeldin’s attacker was released following his initial arrest

Fox News reports that the man accused of assaulting Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) was actually released by authorities following his initial arrest. 

This individual has been identified as 43-year-old David Jakubonis of Fairport, New York. The incident occurred on Thursday evening as Zeldin, who is running for New York’s governorship, was speaking at a campaign stop.

A video of the incident has been posted. The Washington Examiner reports:

. . . a video appeared to show Jakubonis climbing onstage and attempting to strike the Republican. He wielded what appeared to be a hardened plastic keychain that had two sharp points in between his knuckles and appeared poised to hit Zeldin with those edges. Zeldin appeared to grab the man’s wrist in a bid to hamper the strike.

The attacker was subdued, and, about 10-minutes later, Zeldin resume his speech.

Jakubonis was taken into custody and – at the state level – he was charged with attempted assault in the second degree. After being charged, Jakubonis was arraigned, and then, believe it or not, he was “released on his own recognizance.”

Zeldin blasted the decision on social media, writing:

Just as I predicted, after the man who tried stabbing me last night was charged with Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, a felony, he was then immediately released under the state’s insane cashless bail law, which MUST be repealed!

There wasn’t the end of the situation, though. After being released, Jakubonis was actually arrested for a second time – this time by the feds. Now, he is facing federal charges for his attack on Zeldin.

Zeldin praised the decision, writing:

I’m thankful that federal authorities came in to do what New York State’s broken pro-criminal justice system could not – uphold the rule of law. The state must start prioritizing the safety of law-abiding New Yorkers over criminals. Cashless bail must be repealed and judges should have discretion to set cash bail on far more offenses.

Jakubonis is scheduled to appear in court on July 27. He maintains that he had been drinking and “did not know” who Zeldin was.

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