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Florida woman charged after throwing drink at Matt Gaetz

(NewsNation) — A Florida woman was arrested for battery on an elected official after throwing a drink at Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz while he was at an event with family.

An arrest report obtained by NewsNation affiliate WFLA of Florida states that 41-year-old Selena Chambers of Tallahassee saw Gaetz at the South Walton Beaches Wine & Food Festival Saturday evening.

Authorities said, based on his account, that Gaetz watched as Chambers and another woman walked past him and his family, cursing at them.

Then, the report said, Chambers threw her drink at Gaetz before she “walked away yelling and flipping him off.” Although she told officials she tripped and spilled her drink on Gaetz while detained, Chambers admitted she recognized the representative before the incident.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the drink thrown at Gaetz was wine.

Gaetz was not physically hurt, according to WFLA. Chambers, meanwhile, was arrested and sent to the Walton County Jail and released on $1,000 bail.

“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 in a statement.

Explaining why he pressed charges on his “Firebrand” podcast, Gaetz said though people should be able to offer criticism and critiques of people in public life, “if we allow people to be harmed, there is a severe risk of escalation and accident.”

NewsNation could not reach Chambers for comment — as of Tuesday afternoon, her social media was put on private. It was not immediately clear whether she had retained an attorney to represent her.

NewsNation affiliate WFLA contributed to this report.

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