Officials in Walton County, Florida, arrested and charged a woman on Tuesday for allegedly throwing wine at Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz at an event on Saturday.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office arrested 41-year-old Selena Chambers of Tallahassee at the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival in Miramar Beach after she allegedly threw the glass of wine at the representative while “shouting obscenities” at him, the sheriff’s office reported in a Tuesday press release.
Chambers has been charged with felony battery on an elected official. Authorities set her bond at $1,000, according to the press release. She was released the following day.
“We cannot allow an environment where you can throw things at elected officials because you don’t like them,” Sheriff Michael Adkinson said in the press release. “No matter your political affiliation, this is not the way to conduct yourself and will not be tolerated in Walton County.” (RELATED: Armed Man Making Death Threats Against Rep. Jayapal Arrested Outside Her Home)
Gaetz and a witness, Blaine Odom, were splashed but unharmed, CNBC reported. Odom said Chambers walked away from them yelling and “flipped [Gaetz] off.”
Gaetz vowed in a Tuesday statement following the incident to make sure there are “appropriate consequences through the legal system” for Chambers.
“I want to thank the great folks of the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, who ensured that this did not escalate and that everyone is kept safe,” Gaetz said. “And I want folks to know why we press charges in circumstances like this. It’s quite alright for folks to let their voice be 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 criticisms or critiques of people in public life.”
“But 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,” he continued. “And we don’t want to see anyone in harm’s way,” the Florida representative continued.
BREAKING: Tallahassee Woman Arrested and Charged with Assaulting Congressman Matt Gaetz on Saturday Evening, Gaetz Issues Statement in Response
“I will never allow the safety of Northwest Floridians to be compromised. I will be pressing charges against this individual in order… pic.twitter.com/lXccJypznU
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) May 2, 2023
Chambers is allegedly a left-wing writer who has called for the “resistance” in a “physical form” in one of her writings, according to Gaetz. She is also a former donor to President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign and has called to “delete Trump” on social media.
Gaetz said that the media and public officials often overlook any situation where a “radical leftist” breaches the peace and causes an uproar.