U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) was at a campaign event at a former foreign wartime post in Fairport, New York, on July 21 when a man came onto the stage and allegedly tried to stab him, according to a press release from his office.
Zeldin is the Republican Party and Conservative Party nominee for Governor of New York State. The congressman was speaking at an event with campaign supporters when the man approached him. According to a July 22 post on Zeldin’s Facebook page, the congressman said, “His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done’.”
Zeldin managed to grab the striker’s wrist and several participants, including his running mate Alison Esposito, tackled the man. The congressman served on active duty in the US military for four years and is currently a major in the reserves. Esposito is a member of the New York Police Department. The alleged attacker was taken into custody by law enforcement.
The attack allegedly took place around 8 p.m., according to a press release from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. The man, identified as David Jakubonis, 45, of Freeport, allegedly had a gun in his hand, police say. The sheriff’s department said he “swung it at Zeldin’s neck.”
Jakubonis is charged with attempted second-degree assault. He was arrested and released on his own recognizance.
There were no injuries, and the candidate was able to finish his speech, according to his office.
The following statement was released by Katie Vincentz, spokesperson for Zeldin’s gubernatorial campaign.
“Much more needs to be done to make New York safe again,” Vincentz said in the statement. “It is really getting out of control in this state. Sadly, Congressman Zeldin is just the latest New Yorker whose life has been affected by out-of-control crime and violence in New York City. This must stop! Fortunately, we still have exceptional men and women in law enforcement who answer the call to protect our streets.