Rep. Zeldin attacked by man at event, but uninjured
A person tried to slash Rep. Lee Zeldin at a campaign event upstate Thursday, Suffolk County Republican Chairman Jesse Garcia tells News 12.
Zeldin was giving a speech when a man climbed onstage and appeared to begin wrestling with the congressman, said Katie Vincentz, a spokesperson for Zeldin's campaign. A video of the event in Perinton posted on Twitter showed the man appearing to grab Zeldin’s arm and the two falling to the ground as other people intervene.
Zeldin’s campaign said the attacker was taken into custody and the congressman continued his speech. He is challenging incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul this November.
New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy told The Associated Press that he didn't have any details on the attacker or his weapon but exchanged text messages with Zeldin afterward while the congressman was speaking to police.
“He is fine. He’s not seriously injured. It’s just a chaotic scene there,” Langworthy said.
“Thanks to the swift action of several brave eventgoers, the perpetrator was subdued,” New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy said in a statement.
Langworthy said Zeldin had “just a little scrape” but it wasn't what anyone would consider an injury. The chair said he was told that Zeldin’s running mate, former New York Police Department Deputy Inspector Alison Esposito, was there and among those who helped to subdue the man.
Langworthy is calling on Hochul to issue a security detail for Zeldin to protect him on the campaign trail.
“This could have gone a lot worse. This could have really ended in a horrible way tonight and this is unacceptable,” he said.
Zeldin, an Army Reserve lieutenant colonel who has represented eastern Long Island in Congress since 2015, is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and was among the Republicans in Congress who voted against certifying the 2020 election results.
Associate Press wire reports contributed to this article.