During a campaign event in Fairport, New York, on Thursday, a man reportedly attempted to stab gubernatorial candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY).
According to local reports, Zeldin was giving a speech about bail reform at the "Unite to Fire Hochul" bus tour stop when a man went on stage, began yelling, “wrestled with him a bit, and pulled a blade out.”
Joe Chenelly, a Marine combat veteran and national executive director of AMVETS, tackled the man, along with others at the event.
Zeldin was uninjured and returned to the stage to finish his speech.
The man told Zeldin "you're done" as he began his attack.
I’m ok, and @EspositoforNY, and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make NY safe again.— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) July 22, 2022
His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were “you’re done”, but several attendees, including @EspositoforNY, quickly jumped into action & tackled the guy.— Lee Zeldin (@leezeldin) July 22, 2022
Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes.
The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws. pic.twitter.com/wZEyIyrjFe
Posting this after I was on the phone with 911. @monroesheriffny was on scene in under 5 minutes. Looks like no one was hurt.— Ian Bradley (@bornawinner92) July 22, 2022
Lee Zeldin is the Republican NYS gubernatorial candidate, Joe Chenelly is a Marine combat veteran and the AMVETS national executive director, Mark Assini was a collegiate rugby player. pic.twitter.com/8zj0ESVn7P— Bob Lonsberry (@BobLonsberry) July 22, 2022
Lee Zeldin almost got assassinated and still finished his speech— Will Chamberlain (@willchamberlain) July 22, 2022
What a boss https://t.co/VO55gqNIDH
Conservative Party Gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attracted at a campaign rally in Monroe County by a man who charged the stage with a dangerous weapon. Zeldin helped restrain the individual who was promptly arrested after a struggle. All are ok. pic.twitter.com/mIJM3GOxse— Conservative Party Of NYS (@cpnys) July 22, 2022
The weapon appears to be a self-defense keychain, though it is unclear if the suspect also had a knife.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul condemned the attack in a statement on Twitter.
"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," she said.
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
Governor, you seemed to dog-whistle support for vigilante direct action by repeatedly calling your political opponent a "dangerous" "far-right extremist." Now a man tried to stab @leezeldin at a campaign event with a bladed knuckles device. https://t.co/g8rlXISl8R pic.twitter.com/qZHhCVGeuD— Andy Ngô ?????? (@MrAndyNgo) July 22, 2022
Hours before the attack, Hochul reportedly directed her supporters to his rally schedule, according to NY GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy.
B) Langworthy: Congressman Zeldin and all of the attendees are safe, but this could have ended much worse.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 22, 2022
D) Langworthy: It’s not enough to condemn the attack, she must apologize and tone down her hateful rhetoric immediately.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 22, 2022
This is a breaking news post and may be updated with additional information.