Former Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie’s niece, Shannon Epstein, was reportedly arrested on a handful of charges after causing a disturbance onboard a Spirit Airlines flight in New Orleans on Thanksgiving Day.
Captain Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Epstein’s arrest to Fox News in an email. According to his email to Fox News, Christie’s 25-year-old niece was traveling from New Orleans to New Jersey that day when she allegedly accused some Latino passengers of being drug mules. The captain confirmed that Epstein asked the family if they were “smuggling cocaine.”
Chris Christie's niece reportedly kicked off plane, injured six deputies in Thanksgiving disturbance https://t.co/vm8CvDkl1D
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 5, 2022
Her accusation prompted airline employees to have her removed from the airplane, which had already left the gate at Louis Armstrong International Airport. Rivarde added that Epstein became combative when deputies made contact with her on the jet bridge.
“She became extremely combative, Rivarde told Fox News. “During her arrest, she injured 6 deputies, biting one and kicking another in the groin.”
Riverdale did not confirm if Epstein was Christie’s niece. The captain, however, revealed that the 25-year-old repeatedly stated that responding deputies would lose their job or be arrested “because of her familial relationships.”
According to a report on Nola, Epstein boasted that she was related to powerful people during her arrest.
A total of seven deputies eventually managed to subdue the 25-year-old and handcuffed her to a wheelchair. She was then transferred to airport security. Per Rivarde, she continued to shout vulgarities at responding deputies throughout the process, threatening that they would get into trouble for arresting her.
Deputies charged Epstein for resisting arrest and remaining after forbidden. They also booked her on three counts of disturbing the peace and six counts of battery on a police officer.
Later that day, she posted $10,750 in bail and was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center where she was detained.
The first court appearance in the case is set for January 23. In light of federal laws on passenger disruptions on planes, the case will most likely become a federal one.