Lee Zeldin attacker re-arrested on federal assault charge

The suspect was released by a local New York judge shortly after the incident

Published: July 24, 2022 11:36am

Updated: July 24, 2022 12:00pm

The man who was released without bail after allegedly attacking New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin was re-arrested on a federal assault charge on Saturday, authorities stated. 

David Jakubonis, 43, is accused of storming the stage of Zeldin's campaign event Thursday evening during a campaign speech about bail reform in Perinton, N.Y.

He now faces a federal charge of using a dangerous weapon to assault a member of Congress, which carries up to 10 years in prison, The Associated Press reported.

Prosecutors argued that Jakubonis is dangerous and a flight risk, the court filing stated. He is being held until a bail hearing on Wednesday.

Jakubonis was charged with attempted second-degree assault, a lower-level count, and released from jail by a local judge shortly after the incident. 

Jakubonis, an Iraq War veteran and resident of Perinton, "did not know who the speaker was or that the speaker was a political person," the criminal complaint stated. He reportedly drank whiskey before going on stage and pulling the congressman to the ground.

In a statement about the federal complaint, Zeldin said he was thankful that the US Attorney "came in to do what NY’s broken pro-criminal justice system could not - uphold the rule of law."

He went on to urge for the repeal of cashless bail and said "judges need [the] discretion to set cash bail on far more crimes."

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