Man accused of attacking Rep. Lee Zeldin hit with federal charges

New York representative and Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin made headlines after he was attacked with a bladed weapon while giving a speech last weekend.

Although Fox News revealed that the man accused of going after Zeldin was released without bail by state authorities, he’s now facing tougher treatment from federal prosecutors. 

Alleged attacking facing up to 10 years in prison

According to Fox News, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of New York announced that David Jakubonis was taken into custody on Saturday.

A press release put out by the Department of Justice (DOJ) explained that the 43-year-old suspect has been charged with assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon. The crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years behind bars.

“Congressman Zeldin was speaking from the bed of a flatbed trailer,” the statement explained. “Jakubonis walked onto the trailer, approached the Congressman, extended a keychain with two sharp points toward him and grabbed his arm.”

“A struggle then ensued between Congressman Zeldin and Jakubonis and, as bystanders intervened, Jakubonis pulled Congressman Zeldin down onto the bed of the trailer, stating several times during the assault, ‘you’re done,'” it added.

Conservatives slam New York’s weak bail laws

Ironically, Zeldin was actually addressing New York’s liberal bail laws at the time he was attacked, a fact that some Twitter users pointed out.

“Everything wrong with the current state of New York. A lunatic attempts to stab a gubernatorial candidate, gets arrested, only to be ‘released on his own recognizance.’ What an absolute joke,” Fox News contributor Joe Concha tweeted.

Republican New York City Councilman Joe Borelli spoke up as well, saying, “So New York’s bail law allows you to attack a political candidate with a knife and be released on your own recognizance within hours?”

“Maybe there should be a carve out for would-be assassins,” Borelli suggested sarcastically, adding, “Wow.”

Meanwhile, New York’s Detectives’ Endowment Association tweeted that the attack shows why Zeldin is needed in the governor’s mansion.

“The irony about the dangerous attacker’s immediate release is that Zeldin is the only candidate who will ensure criminals like this see CONSEQUENCES!”

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