• Wed. Feb 8th, 2023

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Woman claiming to be relative of Chris Christie injures 6 deputies after getting kicked off plane, says sheriff’s office

A woman who claimed to be related to former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie injured six deputies after she was kicked off of a Spirit Airlines flight on Thanksgiving Day, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Shannon Epstein, 25, was asked to leave the New Jersey-bound flight at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans on the morning of Nov. 24 after she asked a family seated near her who she believed were Latino if they were “smuggling cocaine,” Captain Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said.

Epstein refused to exit the jet bridge connecting the plane to the terminal gate and “became extremely combative,” Rivarde said. She started to fight the Jefferson Parish deputies and injured six of them — one she bit on the arm and another she kicked in the groin.

During the fight, Epstein told the deputies that they were going to lose their jobs or go to jail because she is related to Chris Christie, the former New Jersey governor and a friend of former President Trump.

Epstein is Christie’s niece, The Times-Picayune reports.

Christie, who ran for president in 2016, has not immediately responded to requests for comment.

Epstein was arrested and handcuffed to a wheelchair as she continued to try to bite deputies.

Spirit Airlines did not respond to requests for comment.

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 being forbidden.

Epstein posted $10,750 bail and was released from the Jefferson Parish Correction Center the same day, according to Rivarde.

It’s not clear at this time if Epstein has an attorney. Her next court date is on Jan. 23.

Colin Sheeley contributed.