In 2022, the niece to former New Jersey governor and presidential candidate Chris Christie had a traveler’s tailspin of a meltdown while aboard a taxiing airplane, resulting in her arrest and a classic threat of “Do you know who I am?” that never gets old.
Today, almost a year later, Shannon Epstein, 26, was charged by the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana district attorney with one felony count of resisting police by force or violence and two misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace by public intoxication, according to NOLA.com. A police report of the incident captures some scandalous details about her behavior.
As the plane was pulling away from its door and preparing for takeoff, Epstein turned to a Latino family and asked them if they were “smuggling cocaine.” Police officers were called to remove her from the flight, and as they attempted to handcuff Epstein she became “belligerent and displayed unusual strength,” taking the fight to the floor and biting one officer in the bicep that “tore the skin away.”
“Are you serious? Do you know who I am?” Epstein shouted during the scuffle. “I’m related to some very powerful people and I need to get back on that plane to New Jersey.”
“Do you know who I am? I’m Chris Christie’s daughter and you’re so f**ked. You will lose your job over this s**t. I know Donald Trump,” she later screamed.
Charges also include six counts of battery of a police officer, three counts of disturbing the peace, one of resisting arrest by force, and one of remaining at a place after being forbidden. She was booked and released the same day on a $10,750 bond. The most serious charges carry sentences between one and three years in prison.
What strings Christie himself may have pulled to secure his niece’s release are unclear, but he may be asked about the scuffle either during tonight’s GOP debate or during the post-debate scrum with reporters. The news is an unwelcome distraction for a candidate who has struggled to gain traction in a field dominated by former President Donald Trump and blockaded by higher-polling rivals like Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley. Christie has pinned all his hopes on a strong performance in New Hampshire, where he currently sits in third with 11.6 percent of the vote, according to Five Thirty Eight.