Woman Arrested, Charged for Throwing Drink on Rep. Matt Gaetz

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
May 2, 2023US News
Woman Arrested, Charged for Throwing Drink on Rep. Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) delivers remarks at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A woman has been arrested on allegations she threw a drink at Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz over the weekend.

On Tuesday, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they had arrested 41-year-old Selena Chambers on Saturday after she reportedly threw a glass of wine at Gaetz during an event at Miramar Beach. The sheriff’s office said Chambers, a Tallahassee resident, was charged with battery on an elected official.

Chambers was issued a $1,000 bond and was released the day after her arrest.

In a video statement on Tuesday, Gaetz said he and his wife were attending the South Walton Wine and Food Festival and that several people recognized him at the festival and took photos with him. Gaetz said that during this interaction, Chambers approached him and threw her drink whose contents hit him and an individual whom he had been chatting with.

In a written press statement, Gaetz said Chambers was charged with one count of battery on an elected official and one additional count of battery.

The Pensacola News Journal reported law enforcement officials identified the second individual splashed by the drink as Blaine Odom. Police said Chambers threw the drink at Gaetz and Odom and then began walking away “yelling and flipping him off.”

Gaetz thanked Walton County Sheriff’s Office “for taking swift action” after the alleged attack.

“I will never allow the safety of Northwest Floridians to be compromised,” Gaetz added. “I will be pressing charges against this individual in order to uphold the civility our community deserves.”

Odom said he also intends to press charges for the incident.

In Florida, simple battery is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Battery on an elected official enhances the charge, raising it to a third-degree felony, which is punishable in Florida by up to five years in prison and five years of probation, along with a fine of up to $5,000.

Gaetz alleged that Chambers is a registered Democrat and self-described member of the “Resistance.” He also claimed that she is an author, and shared an image of a 2017 article she apparently wrote for Literary Hub. Selena Chambers has an author page on Literary Hub that links to a Twitter account; the account is currently set to “protected” mode.

“Whenever there’s a conservative who acts out of line, it’s like the biggest story in the world,” Gaetz said in his video discussing the incident. “But when you get a radicalized leftist breaking the peace in my community, who traveled here by the way from Tallahassee, Florida, I doubt it’ll get the same pickup, but we will make sure that there are appropriate consequences through the legal system because that’s what the safety of our community demands.”

Gaetz Has Been Splashed Before

The incident over the weekend was not the first time Gaetz has been hit with a drink.

In June 2019, a woman was charged for throwing a drink at Gaetz as he left a town hall meeting in Pensacola. The woman in that case, 35-year-old Amanda Kondrat’yev, pled guilty in August of that same year. A judge sentenced Kondrat’yev to 15 days in prison over the incident.

This is a breaking news story. This story will be updated as more details come in.