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Fairport man pleads guilty to assaulting ex-Rep. Lee Zeldin during gubernatorial campaign

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  • Staff Report 

David Jakubonis, 44, of Fairport, has pleaded guilty to the charge of assaulting a federal officer, relating to an attack on former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin during a gubernatorial campaign rally in Monroe County in July 2022.

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The U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced Jakubonis’ admission on Wednesday. The admitted offense carries a potential maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

The assault occurred while Zeldin, a Republican candidate for New York governor and staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, was addressing the public. Jakubonis was caught on video climbing the stage and attempting to assault Zeldin with a self-defense tool, leading to a brief scuffle before onlookers intervened to detain him. Despite the altercation, Zeldin, who remained largely unharmed, continued his speech post the incident, and Jakubonis was subsequently taken into custody.

The case has sparked discussions on the security of political candidates, with some calling for enhanced protective measures for individuals on the campaign trail.

Jakubonis is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14.