Lee Zeldin Coming to CNY Following On-Stage Attack At Rochester Rally
Republican New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin is still planning to visit Central New York on Friday following what he called a 'crazy' incident during a campaign stop in the Rochester-area.
A man went onto a stage and approached Zeldin as he was addressing an audience at the VFW in Perinton, according to reports. The man was holding what witnesses described as a weapon, possibly a knife or bladed object. As Zeldin began to push the man away with one arm, both tumbled to the ground. The man was ultimately separated from the 42-year-old sitting U.S. Congressman and initially handcuffed with zip-ties, reports WROC-TV:
Witnesses say when the man lunged at Zeldin, AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly tackled and restrained him, along with other bystanders at the scene.
Those on the scene were able to zip-tie the suspect and get the weapon away before he was taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
Zeldin was not injured. The man was arrested and while his name has not been made public, the television station reported the man is an Iraq War veteran.
On Facebook, Zeldin thanked everyone who reached out to offer support, and those in attendance who helped contain the suspect. He ended the message by taking a jab at the state's bail-reform laws:
Thank you to everyone who reached out following tonight’s attack in Fairport. Someone tried to stab me on stage 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. I’m ok, and Alison Esposito, and all other attendees are safe. The attacker is in custody. Grateful for the attendees who stepped up quickly to assist and the law enforcement officers who quickly responded. I’m as resolute as ever to do my part to make New York safe again. This suspect will likely be right back out on the street immediately.
FOX News Radio reports the man was charged with attempted assault and released.
Shortly after that message, the Republican Representative from Long Island (NY-1) returned to Facebook to offer condolences and support to the family of two Rochester police officers, one who was killed and another who was injured in a separate incident on Thursday night.
Zeldin's team told the NY Post following the incident that there planned to moved forward with planned campaign stops in Seneca, Onondaga, Jefferson and Lewis counties on Friday.