New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was attacked on stage during a campaign event in Rochester, The New York Times reports.
Zeldin, a Long Island congressman, was standing on the bed of a truck and speaking to supporters at a VFW hall when a man was seen approaching Zeldin from behind.
The man grabbed Zeldin by the arm and brandished a weapon. Zeldin held on to the man’s wrist before supporters tackled him to the ground.
“Someone tried to stab me onstage during this evening’s rally, but fortunately, I was able to grab his wrist and stop him for a few moments until others tackled him,” Zeldin said. “I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make New York safe again.”
Iraq War veteran David Jakubonis, 43, was arrested after the incident and charged with attempted assault in the second degree.
He was arraigned in court and released.
While onlookers shouted that the man had a “knife,” video shows that he had a pointed self-defense tool shaped like the face of a cartoon cat.
“You’re done, you’re done,” he repeatedly told Zeldin in the video.
New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul quickly condemned the attack.
“Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody,” she tweeted. “I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible – it has no place in New York.”
Republicans, meanwhile, attacked Hochul over the suspect’s release, blaming loosened bail reform laws that predated her tenure.