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Suspect Accused of Assaulting Rep. Zeldin Faces Federal Charges

On Saturday, a man was arrested for allegedly trying to stab Republican gubernatorial nominee and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, Reuters reports. The man is being charged with assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon. The U.S. has heightened laws for assault on a member of Congress, even if the suspect did not know the victim was a politician. The suspect, David Jakubonis is being held before his bail hearing on Wednesday. Last Thursday, Zeldin was giving a speech, campaigning for his governor run, when Jakubonis went on stage, grabbed Zeldin’s arm and held a keychain with two sharp points up to him, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of New York said. Zeldin was not hurt in the incident. During the assault, Jakubonis told Zeldin “you’re done,” several times.

Zeldin pushed Jakubonis away before both men fell to the ground, then several others came to the aid of the representative. After the incident, Jakubonis was arrested and then released initially. Jakubonis told investigators he had been drinking and did not know who Zeldin was, or that he was a politician. He said he served one tour in the Iraq War and asked Zeldin if he was disrespecting veterans. Zeldin complained about Jakubonis’s initial release on Twitter, saying that New York’s cashless bail law must be repealed. Zeldin supports strengthening laws that make it easier for judges to hold suspects.


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