Hennepin County candidate arrested, throws tarantula during dispute

A candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner is facing a misdemeanor assault charge after an alleged argument with her housemate.

Marissa Simonetti says she rented space to a local attorney who needed a quiet place to study for the California Bar Exam. However, the arrangement fell apart in less than three weeks.

There are questions about whether Simonetti should have been renting out space since she's not the homeowner. Regardless, the situation ended with Simonetti finding humor in the events, while Jackie Vasquez, her housemate, is definitely not laughing.

In the five-bedroom home, Simonetti was living upstairs, and Vasquez was staying on the lower level.

But on Friday, when things got heated, Vasquez started recording. Simonetti blasted loud Christian music, banged pots and pans, and screamed.

Then, she tossed a tarantula and various other items down the stairs – a move she said was an ode to the movie "Home Alone".

"I mean, there is an element of humor to that movie, and at the end, what was I supposed to do?" Simonetti told FOX 9’s Karen Scullin. "And at the end of the day, unhinged got her out of the house."

The battle apparently started because Vasquez was complaining of a "spider infestation."

Simonetti says the complaints were nonstop, finally asking Vasquez to leave, but she wouldn’t. She claims that Vasquez then sent harassing messages. 

"Perhaps I should have invited her up for tea and crumpets," Simonetti said in response to the escalating confrontation.

Vasquez says she wasn’t a squatter and paid $1,500 to stay there. Simonetti confirmed Vasquez did pay, but then talked in circles when questioned regarding who owns the home.

Despite the incident, Simonetti says she will still run for Hennepin County Commissioner.

"I’m good at creatively solving problems, and at the end of the day, I didn’t physically harm anybody. I’m a little unconventional in my ways—sometimes. I mean, I’m a silly goose," Simonetti said.

Now, there is a judge's order for the two to stay apart. Vasquez has since moved out of the home.

Simonetti was granted a public defender, and her next court appearance is mid-July.