According to the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, a woman was arrested after throwing a glass of wine at Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL).
“Walton County Sheriff’s Office is confirming reports that our agency responded to an incident at an event in Miramar Beach Saturday involving Representative Matt Gaetz,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post.
“A 41-year-old Tallahassee woman, Selena Chambers, was arrested after it was found by responding deputies that she intentionally threw a glass of wine at Representative Gaetz after shouting obscenities at him. She was charged with battery on an elected official and issued a $1,000 bond. She was released the following day,” the sheriff’s office added.
The @WCSOFL is confirming reports that our agency responded to an incident at an event in Miramar Beach Saturday involving Representative Matt Gaetz.
A 41-year-old Tallahassee woman, Selena Chambers, was arrested after it was found she intentionally threw a glass of wine at… pic.twitter.com/ZD9kalzjVM
— Walton Co. Sheriff (@WCSOFL) May 2, 2023
Pensacola News Journal reported that the woman was charged with a count of misdemeanor battery and a count of battery on an elected official, which is a felony in Florida.
During an episode of his “Firebrand” show, Gaetz said the incident occurred while he and his wife attended the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival. He said the woman threw wine on him and a man he spoke with.
Gaetz added that he plans to press charges against the woman, Selena Chambers, noting that people can voice their opinions and criticize politicians, “But if we start allowing stuff to be thrown or hurdled, if we allow people to be harmed, there is a severe risk of escalation.”
According to CNN, Cambers claimed, “She was walking and tripped and spilled her drink on Representative Gaetz.”
“Blaine Odom said he was speaking with Representative Gaetz and saw Selena Chambers swearing loudly at them. Chambers was carrying a drink in her right hand. Chambers thrust the container into the air and the beverage from the drink landed on Representative Gaetz and on Odom’s right shoulder,” a police report states, according to ABC News.
The Associated Press (AP) reported that Chambers’ defense attorney, Matthew A. Karp, claimed that investigations showed that Gaetz was the aggressor and agitator during the situation.
Karp noted that Chambers maintains her innocence in the matter and that he intends to defend her against Gaetz’s allegations.
“I will never allow the safety of Northwest Floridians to be compromised. I will be pressing charges against this individual in order to uphold the civility our community deserves. Thank you to the Walton County Sheriff’s office for taking swift action,” Gaetz said, according to a press release.