The Florida woman accused of “milkshaking” Rep. Matt Gaetz after he left a town hall in June pleaded guilty and could face a year in prison.
Amanda L. Kondrat’yev pleaded guilty Thursday to assaulting a government official after changing her initial plea of not guilty back in June following her arrest for tossing a drink at the Florida Republican as he was leaving the Brew Ha Ha Restaurant & Bar in Pensacola, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
The protester, who actually ran as a Democrat against Gaetz in 2016, was one of several who had gathered outside the restaurant where the lawmaker was holding a town hall. Video captured the moment the clear cup filled with a red liquid was hurled at Gaetz who vowed he would press charges against his former challenger.
She was arrested at the scene after witnesses identified her as the person who threw the cup. Kondrat’yev was released on a $1,000 bond.
“I think it’s really important that we send a message,” he said at the time. “We as conservatives have a right to our views, just as anyone else has a right to their views. We are not backing down from anybody. People that behave this way should face the consequences.”
Unlike Eric Trump, Matt Gaetz says he has every intention of pressing charges against his attacker https://t.co/3AhdGBOBxQ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 27, 2019
Kondrat’yev was reportedly holding a sign at the protest event which read, “Gaetz wipe the blood off your hands, A+ rating NRA, save our kids vote Gaetz out 2020,” court records indicated. And though it was not clear what the fluid was, her act came amid a series of reports of conservatives being hit by milkshakes in the U.K.
Her attorney explained the reason she decided to change her plea to guilty on Thursday.
“She wanted to accept responsibility,” Eric Stevenson told the Pensacola News Journal. “She’s never been arrested before, she’s no threat to the public. This was a pretty (minimal) incident. Nobody was injured or in danger of being injured.”
Gaetz told the news outlet he was grateful to police for taking the incident seriously.
“This lady has pledged allegiance to the increasingly violent Antifa group,” he wrote. “I’m grateful to the law enforcement officers who arrested her and the prosecutors who take these matters seriously. Everyone who attends our #OpenGaetz events deserves a safe environment.”
The congressman had challenged Kondrat’yev to a debate during the 2016 race over whether a cross should be allowed to remain on public ground. Though the debate never happened, the Democrat had been part of a lawsuit against the city of Pensacola for the removal of the Bayview Park cross.
Kondrat’yev is due to appear for a pre-sentencing hearing at the Northern Florida U.S. District Court on October 17.
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