Man accused of attacking former Rep. Lee Zeldin sentenced to probation
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Getting a second chance. That’s how David Jakubonis’ attorney describes how his client felt after being sentenced to three years probation in connection with a 2022 attack on former Rep. Lee Zeldin.
“He’s very appreciative of what’s been afforded to him, and I think he feels much more optimistic about his life ahead as a sober person and getting the help he needs,” attorney John DeMarco said.
David Jakubonis, the Fairport man who pleaded guilty to attacking Zeldin in the summer of 2022 in Perinton, was sentenced to three years of probation Thursday afternoon in federal court.
The attack happened in Perinton while Zeldin was campaigning for governor. Jakubonis says he was drunk. He was admitted to an alcohol treatment center after his arrest, and has received help for his addiction from the Veterans Outreach Center.
Jakubonis was charged with assaulting a federal officer, which has a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
DMarco says Zeldin has been supportive after Jakubonis’ attempts to get help.
“Nobody was hurt, thankfully, and him coming before the court and the veterans service agencies being able to wrap themselves around him, and help him — he’s entirely different than he was 17 months ago,” DeMarco said.
“(Zeldin) being a veteran himself was very sensitive to David’s history and his plight and was very supportive of what was made available to him,” DeMarco said.
Statement from Lee Zeldin given to News10NBC:
“It is my understanding that over the past 17 months David Jakubonis has been making important personal strides thanks to the great resources made available through the Monroe County VA and other local veterans organizations. I hope he can make significant progress towards getting his life back on track and continues to make the most of the mental health and support resources in the area.”