The mental health of a New Yorker who assaulted Congressman Lee Zeldin deteriorated dramatically following his discharge from the army and the death of his wife, The Post learned.
David Jakubonis, 43, of Fairport, fell into a “rapid decline” following the death of his wife Candyce and his medical discharge in 2012, a former neighbor told the Post on Friday.
“He’s going through some kind of nervous breakdown right now,” said the neighbor, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals. “He became increasingly distant over the years following his wife’s death.”
The former neighbor said he spent time with Jakubonis, his wife and their twins about a decade ago when he lived in Fairport. Jakubonis tried to maintain their relationship as acquaintances, but his regular messages were difficult to understand.
“He’s a strange guy, he has social problems,” said the ex-neighbor. “He would say or do things like a youngster would.”
Jakubonis and his late wife were heavy drinkers, the neighbor claimed, adding that the army vet still has problems with alcohol.
“I think he still drinks a lot,” the neighbor claimed.
Jakubonis, who never discussed politics or mentioned being angry with anyone, reached out to his former neighbor via Facebook and phone as recently as Wednesday, but the neighbor said he hadn’t answered.
“Honestly brother, there was something I couldn’t relate to him,” the man continued. “Something was wrong with the way he spoke. Not that I thought this guy was going to go crazy, but he didn’t seem connected to reality.”
Jakubonis’ brother was awarded custody of the vet’s two children after the death of his wife, according to the neighbor, who said he wasn’t shocked to learn of Thursday’s attack.
“I always had this reservation about him,” said the neighbor. “He always had something wrong with him.”
Jakubonis, meanwhile, was released on his own after being arrested for attempted second-degree assault at the Perinton rally.
The unemployed army veteran has been “actively job-seeking” since 2015, according to a LinkedIn profile on his behalf.
“Hire me,” says the profile.
Jakubonis studied clinical laboratory science at George Washington University in 2007 and 2008. He then studied criminal justice and psychology at the Rochester Institute of Technology from 2012 to 2014. He also served as a medical laboratory technician for the Army Profil from 2007 to 2012.
Jakubonis also joined RIT’s Veterans Club in 2014. He still serves as the group’s morale leader, as evidenced by his LinkedIn profile.
Jakuboni’s Instagram account only had one post – dated May 20202 – that was still visible as of Friday.
“Let’s all hope Zeldin wins and puts that donkey in jail for the rest of his life!” read one comment.
Jakubonis didn’t return a message asking for comment from The Post on Friday. Army officials did not immediately produce his service record when asked for comment on Friday.
Army Pfc. David G. Jakubonis was identified in a 2009 news report as having been mobilized and activated for foreign deployment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
https://nypost.com/2022/07/22/what-we-know-about-lee-zeldin-attacker-david-jakubonis/ What we know about Lee Zeldin’s attacker David Jakubonis