Woman in custody after Jeep crashes through security checkpoints near Mar-a-Lago; shots fired
Sheriff says woman ‘doing some kind of dance’ on Jeep outside Palm Beach resort draws suspicion of trooper
PALM BEACH, Fla. – A woman dancing on top of her Jeep outside The Breakers Palm Beach caught the attention of a Florida Highway Patrol trooper working a security detail at the luxury resort.
When he approached the woman, she got into her Jeep, ignored him and drove away, breaching two security checkpoints near President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club and prompting authorities to open fire, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said Friday.
The woman, identified as Hannah Roemhild, 30, continued driving onto Southern Boulevard and crossed the bridge into West Palm Beach, where she and another woman were taken into custody, Bradshaw said.
Both checkpoints were manned by deputies and Secret Service agents, who fired several shots at the Jeep.
It was shortly before 11:40 a.m. when the FHP was notified that a woman was “acting irrationally and was actually up on top of her car doing some kind of dance.”
After the trooper started tapping on the Jeep's window to get her attention, Roemhild ignored him and tried to drive away, Bradshaw said. The trooper smashed the window to try to grab the steering wheel, but Roemhild drove south along Ocean Drive toward Mar-a-Lago and crashed the Jeep through two checkpoints, Bradshaw said.
“It was unknown at that point in time, due to her erratic driving, how many lives she was going to put in danger,” Bradshaw said. “We didn’t know if there was somebody with a car bomb. We didn’t know if somebody was there to try to hit as many pedestrians as possible.”
After authorities opened fire, the Jeep continued onto Southern Boulevard and crossed a bridge connecting Palm Beach to West Palm Beach.
The rental Jeep was later found near Palm Beach International Airport at a Studio 6 motel, where she and another woman were taken into custody, Bradshaw said.
Nobody was injured during the incident.
Roemhild “does not have a past that we can discern right now,” Bradshaw said.
Trump was scheduled to spend Super Bowl weekend at his Palm Beach estate.
However, Bradshaw noted that the incident was “not a terrorist thing.”
“It’s a road that leads nowhere else but to Mar-a-Lago,” the sheriff said. “I’m not so sure she knew where she was going.”
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