Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) intends to press charges against a woman who allegedly threw a drink  at him while he attended a wine festival in Walton County, Florida. The representative said the charges are necessary “in order to uphold the civility our community deserves.”

Selena Chambers, 41, was charged with one count of misdemeanor battery and one felony count of battery on an elected official after the incident. Gaetz released a statement on Tuesday thanking the Walton County Sheriff’s Office for their “swift action.”

Chambers pleaded “not guilty” to both counts. Her lawyer, Matthew Karp, said he intends “to vigorously defend against the allegations of Rep. Gaetz.”

Karp said his investigation into the incident “has initially shown Rep. Gaetz to have been both an aggressor and agitator,” calling the preceding conversations between Chambers and Gaetz a “verbal altercation.”


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Gaetz told police that Chambers and another woman were cursing at the congressman, according to a Walton County Sheriff’s Office police report. He told police Chambers threw a drink that hit him on the left shoulder.

The drink, he said, also hit a man he was speaking to before the altercation. That man reported to police that he was “soaked” by the thrown beverage. The man claimed the two women stormed off after the drink was thrown, flipping off the congressman.

Gaetz has long held other that acts of political violence, including the January 6 Capitol insurrection, were overplayed by the national media. The congressman received banners on Twitter for “glorification of violence” after suggesting Antifa members should be “hunted down” in 2020.

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