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Lee Zeldin's Attacker Told Investigators He 'Did Not Know Speaker's Identity'

Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

The man accused of lunging at Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) told investigators that he did not know who the congressman was, according to a federal criminal complaint. 

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Additionally, David Jakubonis also told investigators he had been drinking whisky throughput the day. 

Jakubonis, an Iraq War Veteran, apparently went on stage as Zeldin addressed a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in the town of Perinton to ask the congressman if he was disrespecting veterans.

On Saturday, it was announced that Jakubonis was being charged with state-level charges of attempted assault in the second degree as well as federal assault charge. 

Jakubonis "did not know who the speaker was or that the speaker was a political person," according to the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Rochester.

According to the complaint, when the suspect watched the video of himself attempting to attack Zeldin, he told investigators he “must have checked out.” 

Just hours after the attempted attack, Jakubonis was released from custody without bail, causing an uproar among Zeldin himself and others. He called out Manhattan district attorney Alvin BRAGG for not doing his job and keeping dangerous criminals locked up rather than just let them walk freely. 

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However, Jakubonis was taken back into custody on Saturday and charged with assaulting a member of Congress using a dangerous weapon, which carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

On Saturday, Zeldin’s campaign issued a statement thanking federal authorities for stepping in. 

"I'm thankful that federal authorities came in to do what New York State’s broken pro-criminal justice system could not - uphold the rule of law. The state must start prioritizing the safety of law-abiding New Yorkers over criminals. Cashless bail must be repealed and judges should have discretion to set cash bail on far more offenses,” Zeldin said. 

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