Harrowing Video Captures Moment Blade-Wielding Man Tries to Stab NY GOP Lee Zeldin on Stage at Rochester Campaign Rally

Before beginning his attack, the suspect reportedly muttered something along the lines of "Okay, you're done," according to WHEC.

Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, was almost stabbed at a campaign rally in Fairport, a small town outside of Rochester, according to reports. Zeldin was in the middle of his speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Perinton on Thursday when a man jumped on stage and started yelling before taking out a blade to attack him.

However, the man was soon subdued by members of the audience after he tried to stab Zeldin, WROC-TV reported, citing several witnesses who spoke to the news channel. A video of the moment the man goes on stage and attacks Zeldin has since gone viral.

Sudden Attack

Zeldin, who is also a sitting Congressman, was in the middle of his speech about bail reform as part of his "United to Fire Hochul" campaign when he was attacked by a man from the audience.

A chilling video of the incident was captured by one of the members of the audience. The clip shows a man jumping on stage from the audience. He then starts yelling before wrestling with Zeldin and pulling out a blade to stab him.

Lee Zeldin attacked
The unnamed man seen holding a blade and trying to stab Lee Zeldin on stage Twitter

However, A group of Zeldin supporters immediately subdued the attacker. According to WROC, the suspect was halted by AMVETS national director Joe Chennelly. Chennelly is seeking election to the east side of Monroe County's state assembly.

According to WHEC-TV, members of the audience disarmed the man and bound him with zip ties they had taken from campaign advertisements.

Lee Zeldin attacked
The attacker seen holding the blade near Zeldin's throat before he was subdued by others Twitter

Authorities received a weapon that had been stolen from the suspect. The words "Made in the USA" were inscribed across what appeared to be a pointy object in the shape of a cat's face.

Before beginning his attack, the suspect reportedly muttered something along the lines of "Okay, you're done," according to WHEC.

Lee Zeldin
Lee Zeldin Twitter

After the suspect was taken into custody by the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, the candidate, who was unharmed in the incident, returned to the stage.

Narrow Escape

Authorities said that Zeldin was lucky to have escaped unharmed because the attacker was subdued on time. Zeldin will face Democratic incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul in November after defeating three other Republicans to win the GOP nominee in a primary last month.

Lee Zeldin attacked
The attacker being subdued by others Twitter

"Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody," Hochul tweeted.

"I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York," she added.

Hochul took over as governor last year after Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace over allegations of sexual harassment made by nearly a dozen women.

Lee Zeldin attacker
The man was arrested following the attack on Zeldin Twitter

Zeldin has been the congressman for New York's first congressional district since 2015, standing for the wealthy Hamptons region of Long Island. He has been an opponent of New York's bail reform laws, eliminating cash bail for nonviolent and misdemeanor charges.

Joe Chenelly is a 2022 candidate for the New York assembly, according to his LinkedIn profile. Chenelly has long been an advocate for veterans and served as a political advisor to former US Senator Jim Webb during his unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid.