Man who attacked Rep. Zeldin pleads guilty; three years’ probation expected

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The man who approached former Rep. Lee Zeldin with a sharpened keychain last year pleaded guilty today in federal court to assaulting a federal officer.

Sentencing for David Jakubonis is set for Dec. 14. He is expected to receive three years probation as part of a plea deal; the conviction could have carried as much as one year in prison and $100,000 fine.

During a campaign event in Perinton on July 21, 2022, Zeldin — who was running for governor at the time — was giving a speech from the bed of a flatbed trailer when Jakubonis walked onto the trailer, approached him with a keychain with two sharp points pointed toward him, and grabbed his arm. Bystanders intervened, while Jakubonis pulled Zeldin down onto the trailer bed, repeating several times, “you’re done.”

A judge sent Jakubonis, an Army veteran, to an in-patient alcohol treatment center prior to any plea arrangement.