(GoRealNewsNow.com) – NEWS NOW: A Florida woman has been arrested and jailed for assaulting Republican US Rep. Matt Gaetz by throwing a drink at him during a wine and food festival.
The woman who targeted the GOP lawmaker was 41-year-old Selena Jo Chambers, 41, of Tallahassee, Florida, The Pensacola News Journal reported, as cited by Newsmax.
She is facing a felony charge of “one count of battery on an elected official” and a misdemeanor charge of “one count of battery.”
The incident occurred on Saturday night during the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, which took place over the weekend.
In remarks on Tuesday, US Rep. Gaetz declared he had sought charges against Chambers in order “to uphold the civility our community deserves.”
“I will never allow the safety of Northwest Floridians to be compromised,” Gaetz wrote in a statement posted on his Twitter account, which featured the woman’s photo.
“Thank you to the Walton County Sheriff’s office for taking swift action,” the Republican legislator added.
A Facebook post by the sheriff’s department said Gaetz told police that Chambers recognized who he was and began cursing at him. She then threw her drink at him while walking past him during the event.
While the woman admitted recognizing Gaetz as a Republican congressman, she insisted that she tripped and spilled her drink on him.
According to the report, another woman who accompanied Chambers said it was her, not the detainee, who had cursed at the GOP lawmaker as both passed near him.
Chambers was arrested by the local police at the festival and taken to the Walton County jail.
In Tuesday’s comments on his “Firebrand” podcast, the Republican congressman defended his decision to press charges.
“If we start allowing stuff to be thrown or hurled, if we allow people to be harmed, there is a severe risk of escalation and accident. We don’t want to see anyone in harm’s way, whether it’s family members, supporters, or even our detractors,” Gaetz argued.
“We want them to be safe, too, but when they really cross the Rubicon beyond just words to throwing stuff and striking me and striking a gentleman I was speaking with, with a drink, then that has really caused harm to our community. And it’s something that we want to contain and extinguish and not see going forward,” he elaborated.
According to the sheriff’s department, Chambers was released on a $1,000 bond the next day.
“We cannot allow an environment where you can throw things at elected officials because you don’t like them. No matter your political affiliation, this is not the way to conduct yourself and will not be tolerated in Walton County,” commented Sheriff Adkinson.
In another similar incident in 2019, Amanda Kondrat’yev was sent to prison for 15 days after throwing a red slushy at Rep. Matt Gaetz as he was leaving a campaign event in Pensacola.
A woman from Tallahassee, Florida, was arrested and charged with battery after allegedly throwing a drink on Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. https://t.co/lMBQsVXGNn
— NEWSMAX (@NEWSMAX) May 2, 2023