Connecticut Woman in Custody After Vehicle Breaches Mar-a-Lago Security Checkpoint: Officials

The sheriff of Palm Beach said the vehicle was driving erratically and putting the public's well-being in danger.

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

Police are investigating an incident near the Mar-a-Lago resort of President Donald Trump in which a vehicle driven by a woman with a Connecticut driver’s license allegedly breached security checkpoints, forcing officers to open fire.

Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office
Hannah Roemhild

At a news conference, the sheriff of Palm Beach County Rick Bradshaw explained that the incident began when an officer from Florida Highway patrol was notified of a white female acting "irrationally," standing on her car doing "some kind of dance."

When the officer drove up to the female, she allegedly got back in her car and refused to roll her window down to speak with him and eventually began to put her vehicle in reverse. The officer smashed her window in to attempt to grab the steering wheel, but she drove off, according to Bradshaw.

FHP began to chase the woman in her black SUV, but they repeatedly lost her in traffic. She eventually went south on Ocean Drive towards Mar-A-Lago, where Bradshaw said she approached the area and crashed through the first checkpoint.

When she crashed through the second checkpoint, she almost hit some deputies and secret service agents who moved out of the way just in time, Bradshaw said.

"Since she'd breached two checkpoints, and it was unknown due to her erratic driving how many lives she was going to put in danger or whether she was trying to hit pedestrians," local law enforcement and the Secret Service opened fire on the vehicle.

It continued to flee the scene until it was located by a helicopter. In addition to the woman, another person was inside the SUV. Both were taken into custody.

Bradshaw identified the driver as 30-year-old Hannah Roemhild and said they did not immediately find any information on any criminal history.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, she lives in Middletown and has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and eluding police.

The FBI, secret service and the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office have opened a joint investigation into the case.

President Trump is scheduled to arrive at Palm Beach International Airport on Friday evening for a weekend visit. Even if the president had been present during the incident, Bradshaw assured that there are "lots of layers" of security before actually entering Mar-A-Lago.

"[The checkpoints she crashed through] are located on public roadways and are part of secret service's outer perimeter," Bradshaw said. "They are not located on the Mar-A-Lago property."

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