Man accused of attacking Zeldin was released to inpatient alcohol treatment

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — David Jakubonis, the man accused of attacking Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin, was released to inpatient alcohol treatment center on Monday.

Jakubonis has been in federal custody since July, when he’s accused of pulling Rep. Zeldin’s arm as he spoke at a campaign event in Perinton.

A federal court judge decided at an October hearing to release Jakubonis. After treatment, Jakubonis will be required to live in a Veterans Outreach Center residential program and participate in Monroe County Veterans Treatment Court.

John DeMarco, David Jakubonis’ lawyer, says getting his client into rehab is important.

“He’s anxious to be released, but more importantly, he’s anxious and excited about the opportunity to prove that this is the right path for him,” DeMarco said, coming out of court. “He wants to do better.”

RELATED: Video of Jakubonis attacking Congressman Zeldin

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The prosecution pushed for detention and argued that releasing Jakubonis to treatment would be a “hope it works” mentality. Jakubonis has been in treatment for alcohol abuse since 2018.

“I think it’s a little of a misnomer. The program that he’s about to enter into and the services are going to be like they’ve never been before,” DeMarco added. “I think that increases long-term success.”

Jakubonis will be monitored with an alcohol and GPS tracking device.

He is a decorated veteran. People in his corner say veterans deserve the help they need.

“The night of the incident I was there and I talked to him,” AMVETS Executive Director Joe Chenelly said. “I made a commitment to him. These guys here are the ones who really made this happen and he does have a long road ahead of him but he has received what he’s earned and what he needs and it’s in his hands now.”

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Here are the release conditions for David Jakubonis: