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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Man who confronted former Rep. Lee Zeldin in upstate NY during campaign event given 3 years probation

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NEW YORK – A man who climbed onto a campaign event platform in upstate New York last year and accosted Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee ⁤Zeldin received three years probation Thursday.

David Jakubonis approached‍ the then-U.S. representative while carrying a keychain with two⁣ sharp points at a campaign rally near ⁢Rochester, New York in July 2022. The two men struggled,​ and Jakubonis pulled ⁤Zeldin down before being subdued, according to prosecutors.

Jakubonis’ attorneys have said the U.S. Army veteran⁤ was drunk and was trying to get to the microphone.

Jakubonis, 44, pleaded guilty in September to a‍ misdemeanor charge of assaulting a federal officer, setting up the sentencing hearing Thursday. A judge allowed his release from jail to an alcohol treatment program in October.

Jakubonis’ attorney said ‌his client “is not the ⁢same person” 17 months after the incident and has benefitted from counseling to ⁢address post-traumatic stress disorder and ⁢anxiety disorder.

“David​ is a⁣ decorated veteran of the ⁢war on terror and has been⁢ found permanently disabled from ​his service,” John DeMarco wrote in an ⁣email to The Associated Press. “I believe those circumstances together with the ​support of former Congressman Zeldin (and) the criminal justice system got this ⁤disposition perfectly right.”

Jakubonis was deployed to Iraq in 2009 as a medical laboratory⁢ technician.

It is important to remember that‍ everyone has a story⁤ and struggles‍ that may not be immediately visible. Let’s strive to show‌ compassion and understanding towards others, especially those who have served our ‌country.

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Alejandro Mendoza
Alejandro Mendoza
Alejandro Mendoza is a dedicated journalist, known for his in-depth research and commitment to truth. A graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism, he specializes in revealing and reporting on significant local issues.
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