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Chris Christie's Niece Bit Deputies After Being Kicked Off Plane For Calling Passengers Drug Mules

Shannon Epstein, Christie's 25-year-old niece, reportedly scuffled with Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies after the Thanksgiving Day incident.

Chris Christie
Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

The 25-year-old niece of former New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie was kicked off a plane after she asked passengers she believed were Hispanic if they were drug smugglers—and later bit deputies during a scuffle.

Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies attempting to detain Shannon Epstein after the incident on Thanksgiving Day at Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana were “bit, kicked and spit on," according to a law enforcement spokesperson.

Airline staff chose to remove Epstein from a New Jersey-bound plane after she became increasingly “irate" after asking a nearby family—whom she believed were Hispanic—if they were "smuggling cocaine" into the country.

Epstein became "extremely combative" after sheriff's deputies arrived, particularly when she refused to exit the terminal after her plane was forced to return to the gate.

She reportedly scuffled with deputies and shouted the deputies were going to lose their jobs or end up in jail. She also bragged she is related to powerful people and mentioned her uncle—the aforementioned Christie—is a friend of former Republican President Donald Trump.

The scuffle was intense enough that six deputies were injured and were treated on the scene by paramedics, according to a report by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office confirmed Epstein was charged with six counts of battery on a law enforcement officer, three of disturbing the peace and one of resisting arrest by force. She paid $10,750 bail and was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center later that day.

Epstein is scheduled to appear in court on January 23.

The news of her arrest quickly went viral and prompted many to criticize her and her entitlement.

Neither Epstein nor Christie has responded to requests for comment.

Epstein's decision to invoke her uncle's name—and his association with former President Trump—is a striking example of her entitlement, though her uncle has long fallen out of Trump's good graces.

Earlier this year, Christie criticized Trump for praising Russian President Vladimir Putin even as the international community responded with outrage and issued sanctions in response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

In September, he weighed in on the scandal that erupted after Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by federal agents on the hunt for classified documents Trump had spirited away from the White House in violation of federal policy.

At the time, he scorned Trump for his claim he had the power to declassify documents "just by thinking about it," calling the scandal "a disaster" and "bad for our country."