US congressman’s attacker released without posting bond

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The perpetrator of the on-stage assault on New York Republican Lee Zeldin was released from custody on his own recognizance.

he release from prison of a man who assaulted their gubernatorial candidate during a speech has outraged New York Republicans, who claim the incident demonstrates the state’s growing disrespect for public safety under Democratic Party rule.

On Friday, David Jakubonis, the suspect, was freed from custody without posting any bond after being charged with attempted assault in the second degree. After charging US Representative Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor of New York, with a double-edged blade and attempting to stab or cut him, the 43-year-old veteran of the US Army was eventually freed.

“It is terrible public policy that in the state of New York, you can try to stab a sitting member of Congress – or anyone else for that matter – and be back out on the street not even six hours later,” said Katie Vincentz, a spokeswoman for Zeldin. “There is not enough accountability for people when they commit crimes, and this is just one of the many examples we hear all about in New York every single day.”

Zeldin was seen in the incident’s video footage gripping the man’s arm as he lifted the handgun to his neck on Thursday night close to Rochester. Zeldin was being helped by many men while Jakubonis was being hauled to the ground. The incumbent Democratic governor Kathy Hochul is being challenged by the Republican challenger, who wrapped up his remarks after Jakubonis was taken into custody.

Evidently, New York law classified the assault as a nonviolent offense since the perpetrator failed to stab Zeldin. A law enacted in 2020 forbids courts in the state from seeking bail in such circumstances, therefore offenders must be released from custody while they await trial.

“Only in Kathy Hochul’s New York could a maniac violently attack a candidate for governor and then be released without bail,” Nick Langworthy, the New York Republican Party chairman, wrote on Twitter. “This is what happens when you destroy the criminal justice system.”

New York has been plagued by rising crime over the past two years, including a surge in apparently unprovoked assaults on pedestrians, especially Asians, in New York City. In many of those cases, the suspects had been arrested dozens of times previously and let back out on the street. Robberies, felony assaults, and rapes have climbed further so far this year, rising by 39%, 19%, and 11%, respectively, from 2021’s pace, according to police data.

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