A scary moment in the New York gubernatorial race fortunately ended without injury, at least to the intended victim. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the GOP nominee against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, managed to grab the wrist of his attacker before the man could use what looked like bladed brass knuckles to inflict serious or deadly injuries. Zeldin credited his running mate Alison Esposito and others near the stage with stopping the attack (via Leah Barkoukis):

Zeldin also acknowledged law enforcement’s fast response under the circumstances, but didn’t sound as sanguine about the prosecutors and courts:

We’ll get back to that in a moment. Esposito, a former New York City police officer, also made it clear that this attack underscores the need for change in New York:

As for Zeldin’s prediction, come on man. It seems unlikely that any court or prosecutor will let this attacker, identified by police as 43-year-old David Jakubonis, just walk out of jail on his own recognizance, Zeldin’s quip aside. Oh, wait are you kidding me

Police added that Jakubonis, who is from Fairport, had been charged with attempted assault in the second degree and “arraigned in Perinton Town Court and released on his own recognizance.”

Say what? The man had bladed brass knuckles and was attacking a candidate for office. This seems a little more serious than “assault in the second degree,” but even if that’s the best charge that can be brought, it’s still a felony in New York. Shouldn’t Jakubonis have been forced to provide bail for his release, at least?

Maybe Zeldin’s a prophet after all.

Newsweek has more on Jakubonis:

According to the profile, he studied clinical laboratory sciences at George Washington University and criminal justice at Rochester Institute of Technology, then worked for five years as a lab technician in the U.S. Army.

Get ready for lots of sob-story coverage of the perp on that basis; if his attorney has any experience at all, he or she will hire a PR specialist up front. However, the incident will only strengthen Zeldin’s main campaign message of law and order being the first priority for New York. Thankfully, Zeldin and Esposito had the instincts to stop this attack before it did real damage and can continue making that argument in New York.

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