Jakubonis, accused of attacking Congressman Zeldin, will remain in federal custody
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Federal Court judge decided that David Jakubonis, the man accused of attacking Congressman Lee Zeldin, will remain in custody.
Jakubonis appeared in Federal Court on Friday. The judge said she wants an assessment of Jakubonis’ current addiction issues because he has been in and out of treatment for years. Jakubonis’ had his first Federal Court appearance on Aug. 2, where the judge also ruled that Jakubonis will stay in custody.
Video that News10NBC captured shows Jakubonis attempting to attack Congressman Zeldin during a campaign rally in Perinton on July 21.
The video shows a man coming on stage at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post and grabbing Zeldin’s arm as he was speaking. Before pulling Zeldin to the ground, the man can be heard repeatedly saying “you’re done”.
The man was later identified as Jakubonis and Zeldin was not injured. News10NBC was the only station that caught the entire incident.
Here is the video:
After the altercation, members of the audience disarmed the attacker and used zip-ties pulled from campaign posters to detain them. Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputies said Jakubonis appeared to be holding a sharp object with two protruding points. A witness who helped to tackle the suspect said it was a plastic keychain in the shape of a cat’s face with pointy ears.
43-year-old Jakubonis is federally charged with assaulting a member of Congress and also faces state charges for assault. The Buffalo-area District Attorney’s Office will oversee the state case against Jakubonis. The Monroe County District Attorney’s Office also made the request to have a special prosecutor appointed.
Jakubonis was scheduled for a Tuesday hearing on the state charges in Perinton Town Court, but the hearing was adjourned. His hearing on the state charges was rescheduled for October 18.
Jakubonis is a veteran who served two tours of Iraq. He is a recipient of the bronze star medal, awarded to members of the armed forces who perform heroic actions in combat. Nick Stefanovic, Director of the Monroe County Veterans Service Agency, was at the campaign event.
Stefanovic said many veterans suffer from mental health challenges after completing their service.
“There is very little in this world that you can’t redeem yourself from, and I hope Mr. Jakubonis realizes there are people out there with their hands out, and that he’s is not passed the point of redemption, and he can fix this,” Stefanovic said.
At the first Federal Court hearing, Jakubonis’ attorney asked for his defendant to be released into an in-patient alcohol treatment program.
The attorney said that Jakubonis is an alcoholic who was on medication during the campaign event and thought Zeldin was making fun of veterans. Jakubonis was only reaching for Zeldin’s microphone to stop him from talking, according to the attorney. Jakubonis recently relapsed after he broke up with his girlfriend.
The judge at the first hearing said he wants to see Jakubonis’ full mental health history.