A 43-year-old man was charged with attempted assault for trying to attack Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin on Thursday night during a campaign speech, authorities said. According to images from the scene, the man's weapon appeared to be a cat-shaped self-defense keychain.

The man, identified as David Jakubonis, was booked on a second-degree assault charge and released because the charges do not allow authorities to hold him on bail, officials said. His release quickly became a viral story on social media, with critics once again calling for stricter bail laws.

Zeldin was speaking at an event in a town on the outskirts of Rochester at around 8 p.m. when Jakubonis, a resident of Fairport, a village about a mile away from the campaign stop, climbed onstage, approached Zeldin and told him, “you’re done,” while swinging the weapon toward his neck, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office.

In an interview with the New York Times, Jakubonis said he had "checked out."

The Monroe County Sheriff didn’t return a request for further detail on the weapon used, though photos of it tweeted by the Metropolitan Republican Club, showed what appeared to be a My Kitty Self-Defense keychain, billed as a plastic keychain that doubles as a self-defense tool when one threads their fingers through the cat’s eyes and use its pointy ears to fend off an attacker.

Onlookers helped subdue Jakubonis until deputies arrived and arrested him. Jakubonis was arraigned on charges of attempted assault in the second degree, a class E felony, in Perinton Town Court and released. The charge is not a bail-eligible offense, according to Lucian Chalfen, a spokesperson for the New York State Court system.

No one was injured, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s office.

Zeldin, who is running against incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul, has railed against the state’s bail laws and campaigned on rolling back reforms. Republican Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy had already planned a rally in Buffalo on Friday to blast Jakubonis’ release.

"Apparently, you can threaten the life of a sitting member of Congress and someone running for governor and have to have four people jump on you to detain you after you have a potentially lethal weapon in your hand," Langworthy said. "But that doesn't rise to the level of bail in Kathy Hochul's New York."

“Someone tried to stab me on stage during this evening’s rally,” Zeldin tweeted Thursday night after the incident.

“Political scores should be settled at the ballot box, not on stage at campaign events trying to violently attack candidates you disagree with,” said the congressman, who voted against certifying the 2020 presidential election over debunked claims of election fraud by former President Donald Trump. “This is not OK.”

Members of the New York City Council's Republican caucus condemned the attack, with Minority Leader Joe Borelli of Staten Island echoing the current bail reform laws for allowing Jakubonis to be released.

"So New York’s bail law allows you to attack a political candidate with a knife and be released on your own recognizance within hours?" Borelli wrote on Twitter. "Maybe there should be a carve out for would-be assassins. Wow."