Lee Zeldin predicted his attacker would be freed

Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin fights off an attacker during a campaign speech in Perinton, New York, on July 21, 2022. (Video screenshot)
Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin fights off an attacker during a campaign speech in Perinton, New York, on July 21, 2022. (Video screenshot)

New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin accurately predicted that the man who attacked him Thursday night with a sharp object during a campaign speech would be released under the state’s lenient laws.

On Friday, David G. Jakubonis, 43, of Fairport, New York, was charged with attempted assault in the second degree in Perinton Town Court in upstate New York and released on his own recognizance, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department.

Earlier Friday, Zeldin – who ironically was speaking about bail reform when the attack happened – made his prediction.

“His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done’, but several attendees, including @EspositoforNY, quickly jumped into action & tackled the guy,” he tweeted. “Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes. The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws.”

See video of the attack:

Zeldin was speaking at a Veterans of Foreign Wars (AMVETS) post. The AMVETS national director, Joe Chenelly, tackled Jakubonis, according to witnesses.

“His right hand came up, I assume out of his pocket, and he had a blade on his hand,”

Chenelly told Fox News Digital he saw Jakubonis’ hand come up with a blade.

“His fingers were like two finger holes in the blade and lunged at the congressman,” Chenelly said. “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.”

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In a statement after the attack, Zeldin said he was “able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him.”

“Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded,” he said. “I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make NY safe again.”

Allison Esposito, who is running for lieutenant governor alongside Zeldin, was on the stage at the time of the attack.

She said on Twitter the attack “highlights exactly why I’m ALL IN to help him secure our streets.”

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