Woman arrested for allegedly throwing wine at Matt Gaetz

She was charged with a felony.

May 2, 2023, 4:04 PM

A Florida woman was arrested and charged with battery on an elected official after she allegedly threw a glass of wine at Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., according to the Walton County Sheriff's Office.

The incident occurred on Saturday in Miramar Beach, Florida.

Gaetz was at the South Walton Beaches Wine and Food Festival, according to a police report obtained by ABC News.

Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Department of the Navy's budget request for fiscal year 2024, on Capitol Hill, April 28, 2023.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

The woman, identified by police as Selena Jo Chambers, told investigators she tripped and accidentally spilled a drink on Gaetz, but others say it went down differently.

"Representative Gaetz said Chambers and another female had been walking past him and his family cursing at them," according to the police report. "He believed both females had recognized him as a United States Representative."

Gaetz told police he was speaking to someone when Chambers allegedly began loudly swearing at him.

"Blaine Odom said he was speaking with Representative Gaetz and saw Selena Chambers swearing loudly at them. Chambers was carrying a drink in her right hand. Chambers thrust the container into the air and the beverage from the drink landed on Representative Gaetz and on Odom's right shoulder," according to the police report.

It continued, "Chambers then walked away yelling and flipping him off. Odom said he observed the drink land on Representative Gaetz and also on him. Odom said his clothing was soaked from the drink Chambers threw on him. Odom said he wanted to press charges against Chambers."

Chambers told investigators she had been drinking. Her friend was not arrested.

Selena Chambers in a police photo.
Walton County Sheriff's Office

Battery on an elected official is a felony and simple battery is a misdemeanor. Chambers was released on $1,000 bond.

She couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Gaetz thanked the sheriff in a statement for taking "swift" action and charging the woman.

It isn't the first time Gaetz has been the target of an object thrown as him. In 2019, a woman threw a drink at Gaetz during a town hall meeting. That woman was sentenced to 15 days in jail for the incident.

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