The niece of former Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie allegedly hurled racial insults at Latino passengers on a Spirit Airlines flight in New Orleans in late November before violently attacking multiple police officers who were trying to get her to leave the jetway after she was kicked off the flight.
Shannon Epstein, Christie’s 25-year-old niece, allegedly asked several Latino families if they were “smuggling cocaine” on the flight and used a “guttural term,” according to a gate agent who spoke with law enforcement, the New York Post reported. The plane was forced to return to the gate after taking off so Epstein could be kicked off the flight, which reportedly increased her anger.
Epstein allegedly became violent toward the police officers on the jetway bridge and invoked her uncle and former President Donald Trump.
“Do you know who I am? I’m Chris Christie’s daughter and you’re so f***ed. You will lose your job over this s***. I know Donald Trump,” she allegedly said.
Police say that she displayed “unusual strength” as she fought off police officers and “had white foam coming from the sides of her mouth,” leading authorities to asses that her behavior was consistent with someone who has consumed drugs and alcohol.
“By this time tomorrow you will both be in jail. What the f*** did I do? I’m a lesbian. Is that it? Do you want put your d*** in me? That’s it, isn’t it. That’s what this is all about? You want to put your d*** in my mouth, don’t you? You’re so f***ed, you a**hole,” she said. “Do you guys think I have cocaine in my p****?”
She allegedly bit one officer so hard that it broke the skin on his arm and “tore the skin away.” Another officer said that she “punched me, kicked me, spit in my face, and twisted as she attempted to free herself from my grip.”
In total, six law enforcement officers received treatment for injuries.
Police were forced to handcuff her to a wheelchair to move her off the jetway and to the airport security office.
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.
Dillon Burroughs contributed to this report.