A man who was accused of attacking Lee Zeldin, the New York GOP governor-elect, during a campaign rally said he had been drinking and that he didn’t know the person. Authorities arrested him on Saturday for a federal assault.
David Jakubonis, 43, made an initial court appearance Saturday before a federal magistrate judge in Rochester, New York, on a single count of assaulting a member of Congress with a dangerous weapon. The charge carries a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
He was held in custody until Wednesday’s bail hearing at a federal court. According to court documents, the prosecution said that he was a flight risk and dangerously in custody. Steven Slawinski (assistant federal public defender), representing Jakubonis said via email to The Associated Press he intended to request the release of Jakubonis.
Jakubonis, who was also charged with attempted assault in second degree by the state on Friday, was released after being arraigned. Zeldin and others Republicans were critical of it, pointing out that the incident was an example of New York’s need for reforming its bail laws. Zeldin had called on Democratic Governor. Kathy Hochul will make it more difficult.