The niece of former New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie reportedly injured six police officers during an altercation at an airport.
Shannon Epstein allegedly asked a Hispanic family on the plane if they were “smuggling cocaine” before the Thanksgiving morning flight took off to New Jersey, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jason Rivarde.
The plane, which had already left the gate, reportedly returned before taking off, and airline workers asked Epstein to exit the aircraft after she became increasingly angry.
Deputies arrived at the scene as Epstein reportedly became more upset and refused to leave. Authorities then prepared to arrest her when Christie’s niece allegedly turned violent and injured six deputies. Epstein reportedly kicked one officer in the groin and bit another.
Law enforcement eventually handcuffed Epstein to a wheelchair to remove her from the plane. She was charged with six counts of battery, three counts of disturbing the peace, and resisting arrest, according to NOLA.com.
Epstein paid bail of $10,750 and was released on the same day the alleged incident took place. She is scheduled to return to Jefferson Parish for court on January 23, 2023.
The Daily Wire has reached out to Spirit Airlines for more information. No statement has been made at this time. Christie, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate, has not commented on the alleged altercation.
A growing number of incidents regarding unruly passengers has occurred over the past two years, many in connection with mask-wearing requirements on airplanes during COVID restrictions. In 2021, 1,099 unruly passenger cases were documented but the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), with numbers dropping but still high, with 767 so far in 2022.
Bryan Del Monte, president of The Aviation Agency, said last year that he supports Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian’s call for a national “no-fly” list for unruly passengers, though the idea has not moved forward. Bastian said Delta had banned at least 1,900 people for mask-related issues alone. The airline also says it increased self-defense training for flight attendants and front-line employees.