A niece of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was forced to get off an airliner after she lobbed racial epithets at passengers and kicked and spit on Louisiana sheriff’s deputies trying to detain her, Nola.com reports.
According to police, Shannon Epstein, 25, boarded the Spirit Airlines flight to New Jersey on Nov. 24 and asked a family who she assumed were Latino if they were “smuggling cocaine.” When airline workers requested she be removed from the plan, she grew angry, causing the plane which already started to taxi to return to the gate.
When deputies arrived, Epstein refused to enter the terminal and became “extremely combative” when they tried to arrest her. She reportedly injured six deputies in the ensuing scuffle, biting one on the arm and breaking the skin, and kicking another in the groin, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Capt. Jason Rivarde.
All the while, Epstein shouted that the deputies were going to lose their jobs or end up in jail, boasting that she was related to powerful people and that her uncle is a friend of former President Donald Trump, Rivarde said. Chris Christie did not return messages left Friday at two telephone numbers associated with him.
Seven deputies were needed to handcuff Epstein to a wheelchair, so that she could be moved to the airport security office, Rivarde said. She continued to shout vulgarities and try to bite deputies, he added.
Epstein was charged with six counts of battery on a police officer, three of disturbing the peace, one of resisting arrest by force, and one of remaining after forbidden. She was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on Thanksgiving Day after paying $10,750 bail.