President Joe Biden condemned the attack on Republican New York Rep. Lee Zeldin in a statement Friday.
Zeldin was nearly stabbed during a campaign event Thursday night in upstate New York after a man armed with a blade jumped on stage while Zeldin spoke about bail reform.
“I condemn the attack on Congressman Zeldin in the strongest terms. As I’ve said before, violence has absolutely no place in our society or our politics. I am especially grateful for the courage of those who immediately intervened, and that he is unharmed and was able to continue his speech,” Biden said. “I also want to thank law enforcement officers who quickly took action and are investigating this attack that defies our fundamental democratic values.”
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul also condemned the attack in a tweet Thursday night.
“My team has informed me about the incident at Lee Zeldin’s campaign event tonight,” Hochul tweeted. “Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody. I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible – it has no place in New York.” (RELATED: Zeldin Campaign Staffer Says Hochul’s Press Release Was A ‘Motivating Factor’ In Attack)
My team has informed me about the incident at Lee Zeldin’s campaign event tonight. Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody. I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York.
— Kathy Hochul (@KathyHochul) July 22, 2022
The suspect, David Jakubonis, climbed on stage and allegedly attempted to stab Zeldin, saying “you’re done” while Zeldin rallied in Perinton, New York, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. Jakubonis was arrested and charged with second-degree attempted assault but later released from jail.
Republican Lt. gubernatorial candidate Alison Esposito and American Veterans director Joe Chenelly, among others, are credited with successfully taking down Jakubonis until authorities could detain him.