Rep. Lee Zeldin
Rep. Lee ZeldinReuters

The man who allegedly attempted to assault Jewish Congressman and New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin will stay in custody until his mental health can be determined, a federal judge said on Thursday, according to the New York Post.

David Jakubonis, 43, will remain behind bars while the Department of Veterans Affairs looks into his claims of recent mental illness, Judge Marian Payson said at the suspect’s federal court detention hearing in Rochester.

“I am very much disinclined to release Mr. Jakubonis to live with himself,” Payson said. “Such an unstructured setting is not an environment I would be amenable to.”

Jakubonis, an army veteran from Fairport, was arrested on July 21 when he is alleged to have attempted to attack Zeldin with a homemade weapon.

He is accused of making a move toward Zeldin with a sharpened weapon while screaming, “No, you’re done, you’re done, you’re done.”

“It is the government’s view no conditions would reasonably assure the safety of the community,” federal prosecutor Sean Eldridge said at the hearing.

He asked for Jakubonis to be held without bail.

“It was a crime of violence,” Eldridge said. “To characterize what happened to Congressman Zeldin as a ‘close call’ is an understatement.”

Defense attorney Steven Slawinski described his client’s battle with mental illness and said that the Iraq War vet had a drinking problem that was exacerbated by the end of a recent relationship.

“Mr. Jakubonis has severe anxiety and a panic disorder,” Slawinski said. “He’d been through a breakup recently, fell off the wagon and went on a bender.”

The lawyer asked for his client to be released from prison and transferred to a VA medical center in Bath, NY for mental health treatment.

Payson ruled that she could not release the suspect without learning more about his mental health diagnosis, and wondered if they had contributed to his attempted attack on Zeldin.

“I am trying to get a handle on whether the mental health symptoms are getting worse and whether they contributed to what happened on July 21,” Payson said.