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Woman who breached security checkpoints near Mar-a-Lago facing charges, not terrorist related

One person in custody
Posted at 12:20 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-01 21:02:59-05

A woman whom law enforcement says breached two security checkpoints near Mar-a-Lago is in custody and facing charges.


EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman taken into custody at Studio 6 motel

The incident began in the parking lot of The Breakers when a Florida Highway Patrol Sergeant began investigating a report of a woman, later identified as Hannah Roemhild, 30, of Middletown, Connecticut, dancing on her vehicle and acting erratically.

When the sergeant tried to speak with her, Roemhild ended up putting her SUV in reverse. During the scuffle the trooper broke the window and tried to grab the steering wheel, investigators said, but was unable to stop Roemhild from driving off.

Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Roemhild drove south on Ocean Blvd. trying to escape the trooper, and headed towards two security checkpoints at Mar-a-Lago. Roemhild drove right through both checkpoints, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, causing nearby law enforcement officials to shoot at the vehicle.

No one was injured, and even though Romehild's black SUV was covered in bullet holes, Bradshaw said she continued to flee from authorities, making her way into West Palm Beach.

The FHP trooper lost contact with Roemhild, but a license plate reader near the airport picked up the car, and authorities in the area were able to get back on her tail. They followed her to a nearby motel, Studio 6 Extended Stay, where a trooper tackled her.

"This is not a terrorist thing. This is somebody who was obviously impaired somehow and driving very recklessly and endangering not only the public but the law enforcement officers over there," Bradshaw told reporters during a press conference. "I'm not so sure she knew where she was going."

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Roemhild does not have a criminal history in the state of Florida.

Roemhild is facing charges of assault on a federal officer and assault on sheriff's deputies and will likely face several traffic charges, the sheriff said.

It's believed Roemhild picked up another woman at some point. The second woman is not facing charges, according to Bradshaw.

President Trump is not in town. He is scheduled to arrive Friday evening.

The Town of Palm Beach said that because of the on-going investigation no vehicles will be allowed to travel past the Mar-a-Lago checkpoint installed at South County Road.

The FBI and Secret Service are also involved in the investigation, and planned to file joint search warrants so they can seize evidence from Roemhild's car and motel room.

Sheriff Bradshaw said he will not speculate on a motive.

This is the third security breach at Mar-a-Lago in the last year. You can read about the other two incidents here and here.