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Tags: Election 2022 | New York Governor | Zeldin Attacked

Man Accused of Accosting Zeldin Released to Rehab

Monday, 24 October 2022 05:33 PM EDT

The man who accosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin at a campaign event in western New York has been released from jail and into an alcohol treatment program, the New York Post reports.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian Payson agreed Wednesday to allow David Jakubonis to enter a treatment program administered by the Veterans Administration. He will then be transferred to a halfway house operated by an organization that assists troubled veterans.

The attack on Zeldin, a Congress member from Long Island who is challenging Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, occurred July 21 at a campaign rally near Rochester.

A video of the incident shows Jakubonis' raised his arm toward Zeldin while holding a keychain with two sharp points. “You’re done,” Jakubonis said four times as he approached Zeldin.

Attorneys for Jakubonis, an Army veteran, have said their client was drunk and was only reaching for Zeldin’s microphone to stop him from talking.

“Mr. Jakubonis, if he is drinking, does have a problem holding his liquor,” defense attorney Steven Slawinski said at a detention hearing, adding that Jakubonis has been prescribed psychiatric medication that can interact poorly with alcohol.

Jakubonis has been jailed since he was charged federally with assaulting a member of Congress with a dangerous weapon. He was initially arrested on a state charge of attempted assault and released.

Jakubonis earned a Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.

He will be put on home detention with a GPS monitor once he is released from the treatment program, the judge's order states, and he will be required to avoid drinking alcohol and will be subject to alcohol testing.

Zeldin is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve who also served in Iraq. He said last week he supports Jakubonis being released ahead of his trial.

"When our veterans seek treatment, it’s easy to pinpoint their physical wounds, but often times their invisible wounds go unnoticed and untreated," Zeldin said. "Unfortunately, it’s now clear that Mr. Jakubonis is one of the many veterans battling invisible demons, but, fortunately for Mr. Jakubonis, he is now getting the help he needs. I’m thankful for the judge who has wisely recognized this reality, the Monroe County Veterans Services Office, and other individuals who have worked diligently to assist."

Newsmax staffer Jack Gournell contributed.

© Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Newsfront
The man who accosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin at a campaign event in western New York has been released from jail into an alcohol treatment program.
Election 2022, New York Governor, Zeldin Attacked
379
2022-33-24
Monday, 24 October 2022 05:33 PM
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