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Military vet’ who tried to stab Lee Zeldin with ‘Made in the USA’ blade at a rally is RELEASED

The man who attacked U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin during a campaign rally in New York on Thursday was arrested and charged with attempted assault — hours before he walked free without bail.

David Jakubonis, 43, of Fairport, confronted the Republican, who was speaking on bail reform, in Perinton, New York, a small town outside Rochester, as part of his “United to Fire Hochul” campaign.

Jakubonis, believed to be a war veteran in Iraq, was drunk when he yelled at Zeldin, “OK, you’re done,” just before launching his attack, according to WHEC-TV.

The veteran was arrested and charged with attempted second-degree assault. He was released within hours, just as Zeldin had predicted.

“The attacker is in custody,” Zeldin wrote on Instagram after the June 21 attack. “This suspect will probably be back on the street right away.

Zeldin’s prediction was a clear reference to New York’s shoddy bail reform laws, which require no cash bail on most felonies and non-violent charges, allowing criminals who have not been convicted of a crime to go free.

The state senate claims the reform has led to fewer people behind bars and contributed to an increase in crime.

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David Jakubonis attacked governor candidate Lee Zeldin during his bail reform speech on Thursday.  Jakubonis was arrested and released hours later under the state's lenient bail laws

David Jakubonis attacked governor candidate Lee Zeldin during his bail reform speech on Thursday. Jakubonis was arrested and released hours later under the state’s lenient bail laws

Video of the scene shows Jakubonis entering the stage from slightly behind Zeldin, walking calmly towards him and finally raising his arm to the candidate’s neck.

A group of Zeldin supporters quickly subdued the attacker before he did any damage and held him in place until authorities arrived to arrest the man.

A weapon, which appeared to be a pair of brass knuckles with two blades attached, was found on the scene. The weapon had a cat’s face with the words “Made in the USA” written across it.

That blade appears to be made of hard plastic but has since surfaced, although authorities said it is as strong and sharp as a metal equivalent.

Jakubonis was arraigned in Perinton Town Court and charged with attempted second-degree assault. He was released on his own admission.

The suspect was seen entering the stage while Zeldin was speaking.  He can be heard saying you're done'

The suspect was seen entering the stage while Zeldin was speaking. He can be heard saying you’re done’

David Jakubonis, 43, is being taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department.  He has been charged with attempted second-degree assault

David Jakubonis, 43, is being taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. He has been charged with attempted second-degree assault

The suspect's alleged weapon has been handed over to authorities

The suspect’s alleged weapon has been handed over to authorities

“Someone tried to stab me on the podium at tonight’s rally, but luckily I was able to grab his wrist and hold him until others tackled him,” Zeldin tweeted.

The candidate was not injured and returned to the podium after the suspect was arrested by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Before Jakubonis was arrested, Zeldin supporters allegedly subjected him with cable ties.

The man who took down Zeldin’s would-be attacker was initially named as AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly. AMVETS is an impartial advocacy group for veterans.

Chenelly said he spoke to Jakubonis and when he found out the suspect had served in Iraq, he vowed to help him.

Chenelly told the Rochester first“When he said he was serving in Iraq, I put my hands on my knees and said, ‘You know, we’re going through what you did here tonight, you’ll get better and focus on that. You can contact me. record after this is done”.’

He added: “I have been told not to get in touch with him now. I think it’s very important that we clearly have a mental health crisis across the country – not just with our veterans, but especially with our veterans.”

Zeldin, a staunch ally of ex-President Donald Trump, is the Republican candidate to replace current New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

New York GOP chairman Nick Langworthy said after the attack that the current Kathy Hochul administration has today “ignited the flames of hatred” by recently posting Zeldin’s schedule online and apparently encouraging her supporters to attend. .

Zeldin appears during the New York Republican government debate at the Spectrum News NY1 studios on June 20, 2022 in New York

Zeldin appears during the New York Republican government debate at the Spectrum News NY1 studios on June 20, 2022 in New York

Since 2015, Zeldin has represented New York’s first district in Congress, representing the affluent Hamptons area of ​​Long Island.

He opposed New York’s bail reform laws, which eliminated cash bail for nonviolent and felony charges.

His campaign said in a statement Thursday: “Congressman Zeldin, Alison Esposito and all members of Team Zeldin are safe after tonight’s attack. Much more needs to be done to make New York safe again. This is getting very out of hand in this condition.

The message continued: “Unfortunately, Congresswoman Zeldin is just the latest New Yorker whose life has been impacted by the spiraling crime and violence in New York. This has to stop!’

The suspect is wrestled to the ground by a group of Zeldin supporters

The suspect is wrestled to the ground by a group of Zeldin supporters

Governor Hochul spoke at an event the night Zeldin was attacked in New York City, where she advocated for the city to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention

Governor Hochul spoke at an event the night Zeldin was attacked in New York City, where she advocated for the city to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention

After the attack, Nick Langworthy, the chairman of the New York GOP, blamed the current governor for the attack, saying: “It is no coincidence that Kathy Hochul fanned the flames of hatred by referring her supporters to his rally schedule just hours earlier.” . This is unacceptable behavior for anyone, let alone a sitting governor.”

On its campaign website, Hochul’s team pointed to Zeldin’s July 21 event and told supporters, “RSVP to hear about Zeldin’s ‘Election Integrity Task Force’ and his recent election fraud scandal in which his campaign copied more than 11,000 double signatures.”

A week before the attack, the congressman was removed from the Independent Party voting line in the November gubernatorial election after more than 12,500 of the signatures on his application were found to be duplicates of real signatures.

After Thursday’s incident, Governor Hochul said: “Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody. I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest possible terms – it has no place in New York.”

According to his LinkedIn page, Joe Chenelly, the man who took down the attacker, is a candidate for the New York meeting in 2022

According to his LinkedIn page, Joe Chenelly, the man who took down the attacker, is a candidate for the New York meeting in 2022

According to his LinkedIn page, the man who first took down the would-be attacker, Joe Chenelly, is a candidate for the New York State Assembly in 2022.

Chenelly is a long-time advocate for veterans, having served as a political adviser to former U.S. Senator Jim Webb’s 2016 short-lived campaign for president.

After Thursday’s incident, his wife wrote on Facebook: “Joe Chenelly is a hero.”

New York City Councilor Joann Ariola quickly condemned the attack in a statement, saying, “Attacks against political candidates, regardless of their position, are absolutely unacceptable.”

She continued: ‘This country was founded on the idea of ​​freedom of expression. This kind of political violence represents a dangerous shift in the very principles on which this nation is built.”

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