Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, was the victim of an attempted stabbing at a gathering for his campaign on Thursday in Perinton, New York.
Zeldin is uninjured, and the perpetrator was immediately subdued, however, the event is captured on video that was obtained by The Washington Examiner.
In the midst of Zeldin’s campaign address, a man stormed the stage, grabbed him, and made an attempt to stab the Republican. The man seemed to shout “You’re finished! You’re finished! “when approaching Zeldin.
Crowd barges stage
A crowd barged the stage and knocked the man to the ground. Zeldin returned to the platform and continued the speech almost 11 minutes after the assault: “So, as I was saying,” Zeldin said as he resumed his remarks, garnering laughter from the crowd.
The individual who attempted to attack Zeldin, according to Zeldin’s campaign manager Eric Amidon, looked to have brass knuckles with jagged spikes on them. After the incident, someone posted a picture of the weapon, which was a self-defense item in the form of a spiked cat.
“He was taken down pretty quickly,” Amidon said of the attacker, adding that Zeldin resumed his speech after the attack, which was “ironically” about crime and bail reform. “He’s OK,” Amidon told the Washington Examiner of Zeldin’s condition. “Once it was all over and the guy was taken into custody, he went back up and finished his speech.”
All campaign team members are safe, according to a statement from Zeldin spokeswoman Katie Vincentz, who also emphasized that “much more must be done” to improve safety in the Empire State.
“Far more must be done to make New York safe again. This is very much getting out of hand in this state. Unfortunately, Congressman Zeldin is just the latest New Yorker whose life has been affected by the out of control crime and violence in New York,” Vincentz said. “This needs to stop! Thankfully, we still have exceptional men and women in law enforcement answering the call to protect our streets.”
In November, Zeldin, an Army veteran, plans to challenge Governor Kathy Hochul. Later on Thursday night, he tweeted about the encounter.
“Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport. 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,” he said.
“I’m ok, and [Alison Esposito, the New York Republican Party’s candidate for lieutenant governor], 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.”
Hochul denounced the attack on Zeldin on Thursday: “My team has informed me about the incident at Lee Zeldin’s campaign event tonight. 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,” Hochul said in a tweet.