Police open fire at 'impaired' driver in Mar-a-Lago breach

The driver, Hannah Roemhild, 30, of Connecticut, who identifies herself on her Facebook page as an opera singer, was later arrested at a nearby motel.

News 12 Staff

Jan 31, 2020, 7:41 PM

Updated 1,569 days ago

Share:

Police open fire at 'impaired' driver in Mar-a-Lago breach
PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Law enforcement agents opened fire on an SUV driver who smashed through two security checkpoints at Mar-a-Lago on Friday in what authorities described as the actions of “an obviously impaired" driver but not an intentional attack on President Donald Trump's resort.
The driver, Hannah Roemhild, 30, of Connecticut, who identifies herself on her Facebook page as an opera singer, was later arrested at a nearby motel. No one was injured, authorities said, and Trump was not at the Palm Beach club at the time, although he was scheduled to arrive there later in the day.
Roemhild was not at any time “even remotely close" to getting into the “inner perimeter" of the president's resort, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a news conference.
He said Roemhild, “obviously impaired," was dancing on top of her vehicle outside the Breakers hotel, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Mar-a-Lago, when an off-duty Florida Highway Patrol officer who was working hotel security approached her.
Roemhild jumped into the SUV and refused to open the window or acknowledge the officer, Bradshaw said. She then put the car in reverse and began driving away. The trooper smashed the window and tried to grab the steering wheel, but was unable to stop her, the sheriff said.
Roemhild led officers on a high-speed pursuit, at times driving on the wrong side of the road at speeds nearing 70 miles (113 kilometers), said Major Robert Chandler of the Florida Highway Patrol.
She crashed through one Mar-a-Lago checkpoint then barreled through a second, where Secret Service agents and sheriff's deputies were barely able to avoid being hit before they opened fire, Bradshaw said. The authorities fired numerous rounds, but Roemhild kept driving and was able to get away.
Investigators believe she picked up a female relative before they later located her car using a license plate reader. Roemhild ran from her car outside a nearby motel and was tackled by a trooper, Bradshaw said.
Later Friday, the SUV could be seen in the motel's parking lot, with both the driver’s side window and the rear window completely shattered. The parking lot was lined with red police tape and law enforcement vehicles surrounded the property.
Bradshaw said Roemhild did not appear to have a criminal record. After Friday's events, she was going to be charged with assault on a federal officer, deadly assault on two sheriff’s deputies and traffic charges, he said.
Mar-a-Lago has been the scene of several intrusions since Trump became president. On Jan. 5, just hours after Trump and his family had left the club following a two-week vacation, a Florida man who had been dishonorably discharged from the Marines for sex offenses was arrested after he got past two checkpoints. He had falsely identified himself as part of the president’s helicopter crew.
In March 2019, Chinese national Yujing Zhang gained access to Mar-a-Lago while carrying a laptop, phones and other electronic gear. That led to initial speculation that the 33-year-old businesswoman from Shanghai might be a spy, but she was never charged with espionage. Text messages she exchanged with a trip organizer indicated she was a fan of the president and wanted to meet him or his family to discuss possible deals.
Zhang was found guilty of trespassing and lying to Secret Service agents and was sentenced to time served.
In December, the club's security officers confronted Jing Lu, 56, for trespassing and told her to leave, but she returned to take photos. Lu was charged with loitering and resisting an officer without violence after taking photos by entering a service entrance.
 


More from News 12
0:15
Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

2:02
Mostly cloudy skies and dry conditions on Long Island

Mostly cloudy skies and dry conditions on Long Island

0:39
Police: Man injured in Wyandanch shooting; suspect at large

Police: Man injured in Wyandanch shooting; suspect at large

1:59
Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

0:51
Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

0:17
Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

0:32
Police: 3 people arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check at Huntington Station deli

Police: 3 people arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check at Huntington Station deli

2:28
How did a Nassau County doctor overprescribe highly addictive pain pills, despite strict laws in place?

How did a Nassau County doctor overprescribe highly addictive pain pills, despite strict laws in place?

1:43
CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

CDC urges people to get vaccinated amid resurgence of mpox

1:46
Hit-and-run on South Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview leaves woman with concussion, 6 staples in head

Hit-and-run on South Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview leaves woman with concussion, 6 staples in head

0:26
Principal: Student approached by van full of men in ski masks in Selden

Principal: Student approached by van full of men in ski masks in Selden

1:39
Montauk Music Festival rocks the East End

Montauk Music Festival rocks the East End

2:06
Homeowners asked to check home security video after string of Nassau County break-ins

Homeowners asked to check home security video after string of Nassau County break-ins

0:24
Police: Hempstead man exposed, touched himself inappropriately at Roosevelt Field Mall

Police: Hempstead man exposed, touched himself inappropriately at Roosevelt Field Mall

0:51
Plainview-Old Bethpage hosts basketball team from Israel impacted by Oct. 7 attacks

Plainview-Old Bethpage hosts basketball team from Israel impacted by Oct. 7 attacks

1:24
Nassau County high school seniors take part in aerial simulation exercise

Nassau County high school seniors take part in aerial simulation exercise

1:53
Toys for Tots make contribution to Promise of Hope Foundation to honor fallen Detective Jonathan Diller

Toys for Tots make contribution to Promise of Hope Foundation to honor fallen Detective Jonathan Diller

2:29
Museum of American Armor hosting 10th anniversary of World War II Encampment weekend

Museum of American Armor hosting 10th anniversary of World War II Encampment weekend

1:55
12-year-old prodigy set to become Malverne High School’s youngest graduate

12-year-old prodigy set to become Malverne High School’s youngest graduate

1:08
East End: Kick off party to the summer showcasing the beauty of the region

East End: Kick off party to the summer showcasing the beauty of the region