Man Tries to Stab GOP Governor Candidate, NY Bail Laws Let Him Walk Free

A man who tried to stab Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for New York Governor, was released within 24 hours of the attack under New York’s new bail law.


A man who tried to stab Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for New York Governor, was released within 24 hours of the attack under New York’s new bail law.

  • Zeldin was speaking at an upstate New York rally Thursday when a man climbed onstage, said “You’re done,” and tried to stab him. The attack was captured on video.
  • The Congressman grabbed the attacker’s wrist while bystanders including Zeldin’s running mate, former NYPD Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito, subdued him until he was taken into custody.
  • Police recovered a plastic brass-knuckles-type keychain with two sharp points and said the assailant, David Jakubonis, showed signs of being intoxicated.
  • Zeldin predicted his attacker would be released from jail within hours of his arrest – which is exactly what happened.
  • Jakubonis was charged with second-degree attempted assault and released on his own recognizance.
  • President Joe Biden condemned the attack “in the strongest terms” while Republican politicians condemned New York’s lax bail laws that let the alleged attacker walk free.


reporting from the left side of the aisle


  • The New York Times covered G.O.P. attacks on New York’s bail laws after Zeldin’s attacker walked free. New York G.O.P. chairman Nick Langworthy said, “Only in Kathy Hochul’s New York could a maniac violently attack a candidate for Governor and then be released without bail.”
  • NY1 wrote both candidates need to review their security procedures after the attack as “people are making increasing outward threats to politicians or political candidates.”
  • CNN reported on Zeldin’s Friday remarks calling for changes to the state’s bail laws to give judges more discretion to “weigh dangerousness” to protect victims of crime.



  • The New York Post spoke with former prosecutors who said Zeldin’s assailant was undercharged, and the attack could be considered first-degree attempted assault or even attempted murder. One prosecutor told the Post, “I think that makes New York’s criminal justice system look like a national laughingstock.” 
  • The Wall Street Journal lambasted New York Democrats for instituting a bail law where a “man assaulted a Member of Congress at a political rally, and he is let back on the street as if he committed a misdemeanor drug-store theft. Check that. In New York, a crime such as theft is rarely prosecuted these days.”
  • Breitbart praised Zeldin, writing he exhibited “grace under pressure” and “channel[ed] Teddy Roosevelt” by finishing his speech after deflecting the attack.

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© Dominic Moore, 2022