Republican U.S. Rep. and New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked on stage by a man wielding a sharp object during a campaign event at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Perinton Thursday (July 21) night, WHEC reports.
Video shared by WHEC shows an audience member interrupt Zeldin’s speech and appear to say “okay, you’re done” while holding a sharp object in one hand and grabbing the candidate’s arm with the other, pulling him Zeldin to the ground before being apprehended with zip-ties.
The attacker, identified as David Jackbonis, 43, of Fairport, was charged with second-degree attempted assault and released from Perinton Town Court on his own recognizance, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to NBC News.
Zeldin later provided an update on his verified Twitter account in which he claimed “someone tried to stab me” during the incident.
“Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport,” Zeldin 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.
“I’m ok, and [my running mate Alison Esposito], and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make NY safe again.”
Governor Kathy Hocul also issued a statement on her verified Twitter account regarding the incident involving Zeldin Thursday night.
“My team has informed me about the incident at Lee Zeldin’s campaign event tonight,” Hochul tweeted. “Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody. I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York.”