TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida woman was arrested for battery on an elected official after she threw a drink at Republican Representative Matt Gaetz, who was at an event with family, an arrest report obtained by WFLA.com showed.
In the report, authorities say 41-year-old Selena Chambers of Tallahassee, was at the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival Saturday evening when she recognized Gaetz chatting with event attendants.
Gaetz, who recalled the incident to authorities, said he watched as Chambers and another woman walked past him and his family cursing at them. Shortly after, Chambers threw her drink at Gaetz before she “walked away yelling and flipping him off,” the report added.
Gaetz was not physically injured during the incident.
While detained, Chambers told authorities she tripped and spilled her drink on Gaetz, but admitted she recognized the representative prior to the incident.
Chambers was arrested and sent to the Walton County Jail where she was released on a $1,000 bail.
Gaetz took to social media following the incident thanking the Walton County Sheriff’s Office “for taking swift action,” and pledged to press charges.
“I want folks to know why we press charges in circumstances like this,” Gaetz said. “It’s quite alright for folks to let their voice heard with an opinion or a comment. Folks can shout and scream all they want. This is America and people ought to be able to say what they believe, what they desire — even offer criticism and critiques of people in public life. But if we start to allow stuff to be thrown or hurled, if we allow people to be harmed, there is a severe risk of escalation and accident.”
Gaetz called the woman a “left-wing author” adding, “her stuff is not exactly my type.”
“It seems after the 2016 election, based on some of her writing, she became very obsessed with Donald Trump and she engaged in something called ‘resistance expression.'”
Gaetz said Chambers also donated to the Joe Biden 2020 Presidential campaign. WFLA.com confirmed a person by the same name and address contributed $100 to the “BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT” campaign in October 2020.
“We’ll make sure that there are appropriate consequences through the legal system because that’s what the safety of our community demands,” Gaetz said.