Suspect accused of attacking United States Rep Lee Zeldin faces federal charges

Suspect accused of attacking United States Rep Lee Zeldin faces federal charges

A man accused of trying this week to stab Republican United States Representative and New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was arrested on Saturday on a federal charge of assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon, authorities said.

David Jakubonis, 43 of Fairport, appeared before a magistrate judge on Saturday and was ordered held until a bail hearing on Wednesday.

As Zeldin gave a speech on Thursday in his run for governor, Jakubonis climbed on stage, grabbed the right arm of Zeldin and extended a key chain with two sharp points toward him, the US Attorney's Office of the Western District of New York said. Zeldin, who grabbed Jakuboni's left arm, was unhurt.

The Reuters gathered that during the assault, which occurred in upstate New York, Jakubonis said several times "you're done," a complaint filed Saturday and signed by an FBI agent said.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office had arrested Jakubonis on Thursday but he was later released. Jakubonis had waived his rights and told the sheriff's investigators that he had served one tour during the Iraq war in the US Army, the complaint said. Jakubonis told the sheriff's investigators he asked Zeldin if he was disrespecting veterans, it said.

Jakubonis said he drank on the day of the incident and he did not know who the speaker was or that he was a politician, it said.

United States law carries heightened penalties for assaulting a member of Congress, and does not require the government to prove a defendant knew an assault victim was a member of Congress.

Zeldin pushed the suspect away before both men tumbled to the ground as several others tried to subdue the suspect, video footage posted on social media on Thursday, July 21, by witnesses showed.

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