Chris Christie’s niece, Shannon Epstein, reportedly went on a racist, violent tirade on a Spirit Airlines flight before being arrested and removed from the plane.

Epstein was on an early flight from Louisiana to New Jersey on Thanksgiving Day when the meltdown started with her asking a Latino family if they were “smuggling cocaine” and, according to a gate agent, used an unspecified “guttural term” directed at the passengers.


The plane was stopped on the tarmac after the 25-year-old became angry and disruptive, and deputies were brought into the situation to remove her. The sheriff’s office said she was “extremely combative” and injured several officers while resisting arrest. She allegedly bit one on the arm and kicked another in the groin, and threatened that the officers “would lose their jobs or be arrested” because of her connection to New Jersey’s former governor.

“Are you serious? Do you know who I am?” she said, according to a report. “I’m related to some very powerful people and I need to get back on that plane to New Jersey.”

The report said Christie’s niece appeared to have been intoxicated, as she “was belligerent and displayed unusual strength” and had “white foam coming from the sides of her mouth.”

She also apparently accused the police of arresting her of being a lesbian before being tackled to the floor. Despite multiple attempts to break free and physical attacks on the officers, she was eventually handcuffed to a wheelchair and removed from the scene.

Epstein is facing six counts of battery on a police officer, three counts of disturbing the peace, and one count of resisting arrest by force. She was released from jail the same day after posting over $10,000 in bail.

Neither Christie nor his niece has commented. Her court date is set for January.

Christie is believed to considering another run at the GOP presidential nomination in 2024 and has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump‘s treatment of classified documents.

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