- The Washington Times
Thursday, July 21, 2022

The man who was arrested in the attack on Rep. Lee Zeldin, New York Republican, has been identified by a Rochester TV station.

WHEC-TV, the area’s NBC affiliate, reported Thursday night that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office has detained David Jackbonis in the knife attack.

Mr. Jackbonis is being questioned but no charges have been filed in the assault, which did not result in any injuries, WHEC reported.

Video of the attack showed the attacker get onto a truck bed in Perinton, New York, from which Mr. Zeldin was giving a speech as part of his campaign for New York governor. 

The attacker grabbed Mr. Zeldin and yelled “you’re done! You’re done!” before being wrestled down and subdued by Mr. Zeldin and several other men.

According to WROC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Rochester, one of those men was Joe Chenelly, the national executive director of the veterans group AMVETS and also a candidate for state political office — a seat in the state Assembly.

Citing Mr. Chenelly, WROC reported that the attacker was a troubled Iraq War veteran apparently under the influence of alcohol.

“When he said he served in Iraq, I got down hands on my knees and said ‘you know, we’re going to get through whatever you’ve done here tonight’ and told him you’re going to get better and focus on that and said ‘you can contact me after this thing is done. We’ll help you find the services you need,’” Mr. Chenelly told the TV station.

There was no word about possible motive, though the incident comes as threats and public harrassment directed at members of Congress and candidates for political office have been on the rise across the country, sometimes at the solicitation of other politicians.

The campaign said neither Mr. Zeldin nor anyone else was hurt, and the candidate returned to the stage to finish his speech and thank law enforcement for their actions.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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