Political Candidate Faces Assault Charges After Throwing Tarantula At Housemate

Marisa Simonetti, a conservative candidate for the Hennepin County Board in Minnesota, has been charged with fifth-degree assault after an altercation with her housemate involving a live tarantula. The incident occurred when Simonetti, 30, claimed that her housemate, attorney Jackie Vasquez, overstayed her lease in a Minneapolis-area home that Simonetti does not own.

Simonetti rented a room to Vasquez a few weeks ago, but when the short-term contract expired, Vasquez allegedly refused to leave. Tensions between the two escalated on Friday, prompting Vasquez to record the confrontation and call 911 as Simonetti began tossing items down the stairs into the basement apartment.

Videos provided to KARE11 News show Simonetti dumping a tarantula out of a box and blasting gospel music while Vasquez was on the phone with police. Additional footage shows Simonetti throwing various items down the steps towards Vasquez. Responding to the footage, Simonetti compared her actions to scenes from the movie “Home Alone,” stating, “There is an element of humor to that movie, and, at the end, what was I supposed to do? Unhinged got her out of the house.”

Michael Charles Held, 69, was also charged with fifth-degree assault for allegedly assisting Simonetti in throwing items at Vasquez. Simonetti, who was released from jail without bail, described Vasquez as a “squatter.” Vasquez, however, told KARE 11 News that the homeowner permitted her to stay in the basement after learning about the rental agreement with Simonetti.

Despite the legal trouble, Simonetti plans to continue her run for the Hennepin County Board. “I’m good at creatively solving problems, and, at the end of the day, I didn’t physically harm anybody,” she said. “I’m a little unconventional in my ways — sometimes. I mean, I’m a silly goose.”

Simonetti has since joked about the incident, telling FOX 9 she should have “invited [Vasquez] up for tea and crumpets.” She even advertised a “Presidential Debate Watch Party” on social media, calling herself the “Tarantula Tosser.”

This incident highlights the sometimes unconventional methods of political candidates and raises questions about appropriate conflict resolution and behavior in public service aspirants.