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Zeldin criticizes New York's bail laws after his attacker is released

Ian Winner
People subdue a person who assaulted U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, at a campaign appearance Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Fairport, New York Zeldin escaped serious injury.

Long Island Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY) criticized New York’s bail laws after the man who attacked him on stage during a campaign event in the gubernatorial race was released the next day.

According to Monroe County Sheriff’s office, David Jakubonis was drunk when he walked on stage and raised a piece of metal toward Zeldin’s neck area. He was wrestled to the ground and arrested for second degree attempted assault.

Zeldin said the state’s bail system did Jakubonis a disservice, “who maybe could have connected the attacker to the veteran peer support program in Monroe County."

The programs Zeldin describes — pretrial services — are organized and funded by local jurisdictions. Critics of monetary bail have worried that local jurisdictions haven’t funded or organized these programs sufficiently.

Governor Kathy Hocul condemned the attack. President Biden also weighed in, saying the attack fundamentally defies U.S. democratic values.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.