Ex-US governor’s niece kicked off plane after biting and kicking police in groin

A niece of a former US governor was booted off a plane and arrested after she alleged accused a seemingly Latino family of "smuggling cocaine".

Shannon Epstein, 25, is the niece of ex-New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

She is alleged to have become aggressive after making the accusation and injured six sheriff's deputies in an altercation, one of whom was bitten.

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She is then said to have kicked another deputy in the groin. Several of them were treated by paramedics afterwards.

The incident occurred on board the 6am Spirit Airlines flight from New Orleans to New Jersey on November 24.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Captain Jason Rivarde told NOLA.com that Epstein told deputies trying to get her off the plane that they would lose their jobs or be jailed, threatening them with her uncle's powerful connections including his friendship with Donald Trump.

It eventually took seven deputies to handcuff her to a wheelchair and force her off, he said. He added that she continued to shout and try to bite the deputies as she was wheeled away.

The plane, that had started to taxi to the runway, returned to the gate at Louis Armstrong International Airport.

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She has been charged with six counts of battery on a police officer, three of disturbing the peace, one of resisting arrest by force and one of remaining after forbidden.

She paid $10,750 (£8,750) bail and was released from the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center later that same day.

Epstein is due in court on January 23, although Rivarde said most airline-related cases move to federal court.


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