Suspect in Zeldin Attack Is Arrested on Federal Charge

A man accused of confronting Representative Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, with a sharp weapon on Thursday night has been arrested on a federal assault charge, officials said.

The attack took place outside a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall near Rochester, N.Y., where Mr. Zeldin was kicking off a series of campaign stops. As the candidate spoke about public safety and rising living costs, a man, who was later identified by the police as David G. Jakubonis, approached Mr. Zeldin onstage with a pointed weapon, pulling him down before being dragged away by several people nearby, according to officials and videos of the attack.

Mr. Zeldin was not injured, a campaign representative said.

Mr. Jakubonis, 43, of Fairport, N.Y.,appeared in federal court in Rochester on Saturday. He had earlier been charged with attempted assault in the second degree, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and released without bail. Under state law, judges have been prohibited since 2020 from setting bail on a nonviolent felony charge of attempted assault.

The federal charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, according to officials. He will be held pending a detention hearing on July 27, according to Barbara Burns, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.

This is a developing story.

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