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Latest on man who attempted to stab NY Rep. Lee Zeldin during campaign event



Whilst campaigning in Fairport, New York gubernational candidate Lee Zeldin (R-NY) was subjected to an attempted stabbing. Zeldin was physically unharmed during the incident.

The perpetrator has been confirmed as 43-year-old military veteran David Jakubonis. Jakubonis was taken into custody after the incident and Zeldin continued with his speech.

Zeldin said in an update on Twitter: “Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport. Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him.”

He added, “I’m ok, and @EspositoforNY, and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make NY safe again.”

A video taken by an attendee, Cory Crippen, shows Jakubonis approaching Zeldin with his weapon in hand saying “You’re done, you’re done.” Zeldin then “grabbed the attacker’s wrist to stop him until several others assisted in taking the attacker down to the ground.”

Joe Chenelly, who is the national director for AMVETS, told Fox News Digital that Jakubonis came made his way through the crowd approximately 15 minutes into Zeldin’s speech and was “stumbling” as he approached the stage. Chenelly recalls Jakubonis approaching the stage and said he “wasn’t sure if he was coming up to hug the congressman or yell at him or argue with him.”

“His right hand came up, I assume out of his pocket, and he had a blade on his hand. His fingers were like two finger holes in the blade and lunged at the congressman. And Congressman Zeldin blocked the first lunge. And then as he tried to lunge again, I grabbed him from behind and tackled him down to the ground and held him on the ground,” Chenelly said.

Several spectators assisted Chenelly in restraining Jakubonis who was still holding the weapon. They used zip ties restrain his arms and legs.

“He said that he was an Iraq veteran… and that really struck me,” Chenelly said. “And I know the mental health crisis that has really gripped the veterans’ community. I don’t want this to become some crazy veteran story, but it definitely struck me. And so, you know, while he was still standing there, I told him that he’s going to get through this. The situation he’s going to, you know, deal with what he’s done tonight. You know, once he’s done, I want him to reach out to me. We’ll make sure that you get the services that you need.”

Zeldin predicted that his attacker would be quickly released under New York’s cashless bail system. According to the Munroe County Sherriff’s Department, he is correct. Jakubonis was charged, and then released several hours later.

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