A niece of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie bit, kicked, and spit on Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies trying to detain her on Thanksgiving Day at Louis Armstrong International Airport, according to authorities.
She had been kicked off an airplane for asking passengers who appeared to be Latino whether they were drug mules.
According to Capt. Jason Rivarde, a Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Shannon Epstein, 25, asked a family who were nearby and whom she thought to be Latino if they were “smuggling cocaine” on the Spirit Airlines flight to New Jersey on November 24 at around 6 a.m.
As Epstein grew angrier, airline staff asked that she be expelled from the aircraft, and the aircraft, which had begun to taxi to the runway, was brought back to the gate, according to Rivarde on Friday.
Epstein resisted entering the terminal once deputies arrived at the jet bridge, according to Rivarde. She became “very belligerent” when they attempted to arrest her, according to Rivarde.
After getting kicked off a plane for asking passengers she assumed were Latino if were “smuggling cocaine,” Chris Christie’s niece bit, kicked and spit on deputies trying to detain her, injuring 6 https://t.co/ANQ9P55GPT
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) December 4, 2022
She kicked one deputy in the groin and bit one on the arm, breaking the skin, during the altercation, according to Rivarde. She also injured six deputies. There, paramedics attended to them.
Epstein boasted that she was related to influential people and that her uncle is a friend of former President Donald Trump while yelling that the deputies would lose their jobs or go to jail, according to Rivarde. Chris Christie did not respond to calls made to two of his phone numbers on Friday.
According to Rivarde, it took seven deputies to handcuff Epstein to a wheelchair so that she could be taken to the airport security office. He stated that she kept yelling obscenities and attempting to bite the deputies.
According to Rivarde, they charged Epstein with six counts of violence on a police officer, three charges of disturbing the peace, one act of violently resisting arrest, and one offense of loitering after being asked to leave. Later on Thanksgiving Day, after posting $10,750 bail, she was freed from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Epstein is due back in court in Jefferson Parish on January 23, but Rivarde noted that most airline-related issues are sent to federal court.