February 3, 2023
A woman reported to be the niece of ex-NJ Gov. Chris Christie was arrested following a disturbance on an airplane Thanksgiving Day in which she allegedly atttacked deputies.

A woman reported to be a niece of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was arrested on Thanksgiving morning after allegedly causing a disturbance on an airplane and injuring six deputies.

Captain Jason Rivarde of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Fox News that Shannon Epstein was arrested at approximately 6 a.m. that morning after being removed from a plane at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. According to NOLA.com, Epstein is Christie’s niece and the flight was headed to New Jersey. 

“She was removed from the flight after causing a disturbance which included asking a family she believed was Latino if they were smuggling cocaine,” Rivarde said in an email to Fox News. “When deputies initially made contact with her on the jet bridge, she became extremely combative. During her arrest, she injured 6 deputies, biting one and kicking another in the groin.”

Rivarde said Epstein “was eventually secured in a wheelchair” and taken from the scene.

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at an annual leadership meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) (AP )

Rivarde did not confirm that Epstein is the niece of the former New Jersey governor, but he did say that “she repeatedly stated that they would lose their jobs or be arrested because of her familial relationships.” 

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Epstein was arrested on charges of remaining after forbidden, resisting a police officer with force, and multiple counts of battery on a police officer. She was placed in custody but released the same day after she posted bond.

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Rivarde noted that mugshots are not publicly available for cases involving such charges.