Brave members of the public tackled a knife-wielding army vet as he lunged towards Rep. gubernational candidate, Lee Zeldin.
The attacker has been named as 43-year-old David Jakubonis from Fairport. He is reportedly an Iraq war veteran who was drunk as the Republican gave a speech about bail reform on the streets of Perinton, New York which is just outside of Rochester.
Witnesses say Jakubonis had said, “Okay, you’re done” before lunging towards Zeldin, who stood on a raised platform.
Shocking video footage shows Jakubonis walk up behind Zeldin, who was in the middle of his speech, before raising his arm up to the Republican’s neck.
Fortunately, people in the crowd were quick to react and rushed to restrain the armed assailant with zip-ties before he could injure the stunned politician. Men pinned him to the floor while authorities were called.
Cops found a knuckle-duster style blade at the scene. The weapon was a black piece of metal in the shape of a cat’s face with two finger holes for eyes and two pointy protrusions as crude ears.
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It had a key-ring hook on the bottom and “made in the USA” inscribed across the front.
Zeldin, who was not injured during the attempted attack later Tweeted:
“Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him.”
Bravely, he returned to the stage after the suspect had been detained by cops to finish his speech.
Coincidentally, the man who reportedly first restrained Jakubonis was reportedly Joe Chenelly who is the national director of the veteran’s support group, AMVETS:
“His right hand came up, I assume out of his pocket, and he had a blade on his hand. His fingers were like two finger holes in the blade and lunged at the congressman. 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,” said Chenelly.
Upon learning that the knifeman was a veteran, he vowed to get Jakubonis mental help upon his release.
“When he said he served in Iraq, I got down hands on my knees and said, “You know, we’re going to get through whatever you’ve done here tonight. You’re going to get better and focus on that. You can contact me after this thing is done,” Chenelly told Rochester First.
“I was told not to engage with him right now. I think it’s very important we obviously have a mental health crisis nationwide – not just with our veterans but we especially have it with our veterans,” he added.
Zeldin is a big supporter of Donald Trump’s and is in the running to replace current gov., Kathy Hochul, who has come under fire for “fanning the flames of hate” by encouraging antis to attend the speech on social media.
He is a staunch critic of New York’s woke bail reforms which aim to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail – many of whom go on to continuously re-offend.
His official campaign team released a public statement following the attack:
“Congressman Zeldin, Alison Esposito and all members of Team Zeldin are safe following tonight’s attack. Far more must be done to make New York safe again. This is very much getting out of hand in this state,” it reads.
“Unfortunately, Congressman Zeldin is just the latest New Yorker whose life has been affected by the out-of-control crime and violence in New York. This needs to stop!”