Minnesota candidate faces charges after reportedly hurling a tarantula at her roommate in nod to ‘Home Alone’

Marissa Simonetti, 30, was arrested on assault charges after reports claim she threw a tarantula at her tenant  (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)
Marissa Simonetti, 30, was arrested on assault charges after reports claim she threw a tarantula at her tenant (Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office)

A Minnesota county board candidate was arrested on assault charges after a tenant claimed that she threw a live tarantula at her after apparently being inspired by the movie Home Alone.

Marissa Simonetti, 30, was arrested on June 21 and was charged with fifth-degree assault and misdemeanor domestic assault, online jail records show.

Simonetti, who is running for a seat on the Hennepin County Board, told NBC that the incident that led to her arrest stemmed from a dispute she got into with Jackie Vasquez, an attorney, over her alleged refusal to leave Simonetti’s property.

Vasquez told KARE that things took a turn after Simonetti allegedly threw a live tarantula at her, among other objects; Simonetti added that the attorney moved out of the property over the weekend after the bizarre ordeal.

The board candidate explained that she had rented Vasquez a room in her five-bedroom house that she lives in with her son through Airbnb, but eventually canceled the reservation after a string of incidents.

"She was in my house less than two weeks before she started sending me double-, triple-paragraph long texts and yelling at people on the phone at 10:30 at night for an hour," Simonetti claimed. "I’m just sitting up here ... thinking this is not going to go well."

However, the situation escalated when Vasquez was reportedly supposed to move out, with Simonetti accusing her of being a squatter.

Fox9 reports that the incident arose because Vasquez was apparently complaining of a “spider infestation.”

Simonetti told the outlet the complaints kept coming in, so she finally asked Vasquez to leave.

After the tenant allegedly refused to leave, Simonetti relayed how she went down to a pet store and purchased a tarantula, but “gently tipped it down the stairs,” saying that she did not throw it at Vasquez, NBC reported.

"I’m not a physically violent person, and I watched the movie Home Alone growing up, and I was, like, you know what, this is such a strange situation," Simonetti said. "If I’m scared or hurt, I try and make jokes. And I was so scared, I was just like, I didn’t know what to do, and so, yeah, I got the spider."

After the candidate was freed without bond, Simonetti told KARE that she would continue her campaign for a seat on the Hennepin County Board.

"Fifth-degree assault means someone only needs to feel fear or feel afraid of bodily harm. I never hit anybody. I never touched anybody. And the reason I was held longer is because she was in my house. So it had to potentially be considered a domestic," Simonetti told the outlet.

Simonetti,  the runner-up in the summer’s special election in the nonpartisan Hennepin County Board race running as a conservative, has dealt with some other legal trouble in the past.

She faced allegations of credit card fraud after being accused of creating $80,000 of charges on her ex-fiance’s card, but the case was dropped after her former partner settled in civil court, according to KARE.

Simonetti and another ex-boyfriend also have restraining orders against each other, KARE also reported.

Vasquez told Fox9 that she wasn’t a squatter and paid $1,500 to stay there. Simonetti reportedly confirmed Vasquez did pay.

A judge’s order is now in place for the two women to stay apart; Simonett’s next court appearance is in mid-July.

The Independent has connected the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office for further information.