Suspect accused of attacking Representative Lee Zeldin arrested on federal charges

The man accused of attacking Rep. Lee Zeldin at a campaign event for his gubernatorial run has been arrested on federal charges, after his earlier release without bail on a different charge caused a firestorm among Republicans.

David Jakubonis, a Fairport, New York resident, is being charged with assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon and has been arrested, according to federal prosecutors.

The accused attacker had earlier this week faced charges of attempted assault in the second degree, and was released without bail upon arraignment, according to the Monroe County sheriff’s office.

Jakubonis is accused of pointing a keychain with two sharp tips toward Zeldin and yanking him by the arm before being restrained, while repeatedly saying “you’re done” to the Congressman, who was uninjured. Jakubonis faces up to 10 years in prison under the charge.

The attack drew swift condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, Zeldin’s opponent in the November election.

But Republicans’ outrage grew with Jakubonis’s release without bail. New York’s bail laws — the overhaul of which was implemented in early 2020, and has stirred a firestorm of controversy among conservatives ever since — took center stage once more shortly after Zeldin’s attack.

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