U.S. Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-FL) delivers remarks in the House Chamber during the fourth day of elections for Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2023 in Washington, DC.
Win McNamee | Getty Images
A Florida woman was charged with felony battery after she allegedly threw a glass of wine on Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., officials said Tuesday.
The woman, 41-year-old Selena Chambers of Tallahassee, threw the drink at the congressman after “swearing loudly” at him as she passed him at a wine festival in northwest Florida on Saturday, a person who was with Gaetz at the time told police.
That person, Blaine Odom, said that “Chambers then walked away yelling and flipping him off,” according to an arrest report provided to CNBC by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office.
But Chambers told an officer at the time of her arrest that she “was walking and tripped and spilled her drink on Representative Gaetz,” according to the report. She also said that she had consumed alcohol at the festival, and that she recognized Gaetz before spilling her drink.
Stacy Froeschner, who was with Chambers at the time, said she had cursed at Gaetz as they walked past him, the arrest report said.
Other witnesses told officers that they saw Chambers throw the drink, the report said.
Mugshot of Selena Jo Chambers
Courtesy: Walton County Sheriff’s Office
Chambers was charged with two counts of battery. One count is a misdemeanor, while the other, battery on an elected official, is a felony under Florida law.
Chambers was booked Saturday evening, posted a $1,000 bond and was released Sunday morning.
Both Gaetz and Odom were splashed, but neither received any physical injuries, the report noted.
Gaetz in a press release Tuesday afternoon vowed to press charges against the individual who “assaulted” him “in order to uphold the civility our community deserves.”
“I will never allow the safety of Northwest Floridians to be comprised,” Gaetz said in that statement, which did not detail the alleged incident.
CNBC could not immediately contact Chambers for comment.
The report does not specify whether Chambers allegedly threw wine or another alcoholic beverage, but a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office told CNBC in a phone call that Gaetz was hit with wine.