NEWARK (1010 WINS) -- Chris Christie’s niece was arrested after she accused a family on her Spirit Airlines flight of “smuggling cocaine” and then became “extremely combative” and injured six sheriff’s deputies as they tried to kick her off the plane, according to a report.
Shannon Epstein, 25, who is the niece of the former New Jersey governor and one-time GOP presidential candidate, was on a 6 a.m. flight from New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport to New Jersey on Thanksgiving Day, when she asked a family near her who she perceived to be Latino if they were drug smugglers, a spokesperson for Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office told the Times-Picayune.
Epstein became angry when airline employees requested that she be removed from the plane, which was already being taxied to the runway, according to the spokesperson, Capt. Jason Rivarde.
Back at the terminal, she refused to exit the jet bridge and became “extremely combative” with responding sheriff’s deputies, Rivarde said.
Six deputies were injured in a scuffle with her, according to Rivarde, who said one deputy was bitten on the arm and another was kicked in the groin. All of the deputies were treated at the scene.
Epstein was ultimately handcuffed to a wheelchair by seven deputies, Rivarde said. As she was wheeled to an airport security office, she allegedly continued to shout vulgarities and try to bite deputies.
During the confrontation, Epstein reportedly told deputies they’d lose their jobs or end up in jail since she was connected to powerful people and her uncle, Christie, was a friend of Donald Trump, the former president.
Christie didn’t return comments to NOLA.com.
Epstein was charged with six counts of battery on a police officer, three counts of disturbing the peace, one count of resisting arrest by force and one count of remaining after forbidden.
She was released from Jefferson Parish Correctional Center that same day after posting $10,750 bail, according to the report. She’s due back in court Jan. 23.