Florida – A police chase in West Palm Beach, Florida that involved a Connecticut-based opera singer resulted in security checkpoints being breached at Mar-A-Lago and ended in a cinematic arrest. Local and federal authorities are uncertain if the intent behind the driver that led the chase was fueled by a disdain toward President Trump, or if they were fueled by a drug or alcohol impairment.
Whatever the case, it was pretty clear that this suspect was not in her right mind.
30-year-old Hannah Roemhild was in the West Palm Beach area for a scheduled performance, but her alleged conduct on Friday has authorities trying to piece together a motive. Roemhild was arrested on Friday after crashing through two U.S. Secret Service barricades in front of Mar-A-Lago, hours prior to the president’s arrival at the resort.
She was scheduled to go before a judge on Saturday, but apparently refused the appearance. Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Ted S. Booras rescheduled the hearing for the following Monday under the following stipulations:
“As long as they can [transport her to the jail] safely and not damage my deputies. I don’t want them or her in danger if it’s not safe.”
UPDATE: Roemhild, who was due to appear before a Palm Beach Co. judge this morning, has refused to appear in court. She remains locked up in county jail, hearing reset for Monday at 10am… @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/WAaNeVlfi2
— Trent Kelly (@TrentKellyWPLG) February 1, 2020
The events leading up to Roemhild’s arrest are nothing short of bizarre. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper responded to a call about reports of a woman dancing atop a vehicle at The Breakers hotel at around 11:30 a.m. on January 31st.
The responding trooper had made their way over to the rental jeep of Roemhild’s, where she was in the driver’s seat at the time. When the trooper tapped on the window to get the attention of Roemhild, she allegedly placed the vehicle in reverse, leading to the trooper smashing her window to get her to shut off the vehicle.
Roemhild reportedly ignored the trooper and sped off, and the chase was on.
While FHP troopers were following the suspect’s vehicle, she burst through two U.S. Secret Service checkpoints that were established in anticipation of the president’s arrival at Mar-A-Lago. Local law enforcement as well as the Secret Service weren’t taking any chances and began opening fire on Roemhild’s vehicle.
Opera singer Hannah Roemhild declined to go to first appearance before a judge today. She’s rescheduled for Monday https://t.co/kv7Y70yTIC
— Terri Parker (@wpbf_terri) February 1, 2020
Brian Swain, the Secret Service’s Special Agent in Charge of its Miami office, acknowledged the actions taken by law enforcement when the checkpoints were breached:
“We can confirm that local law enforcement and Secret Service discharged their weapons at the vehicle.”
Numerous bullets had hit the vehicle’s windshield, rear and side windows reportedly. Surprisingly, the suspect wasn’t personally struck by any rounds. At this point, Roemhild continued to flee and authorities had lost sight of her vehicle. Luckily, a license-plate reader near Palm Beach International Airport had identified Roemhild’s vehicle and troopers followed the suspect to the Studio 6 hotel not far from the airport.
Palm Beach Sheriff Ric Bradshaw noted the following on the vehicle and suspect being located after the chase:
“We alerted FHP; they had units in the area and actually spotted the vehicle again. That trooper followed that vehicle to a local motel where the driver jumped out and was trying to flee to a room. The trooper did a great job, tackled her, and took her into custody there.”
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It was also reported that when Roemhild was detained, there was a second woman inside the vehicle at the time. However, authorities don’t believe the passenger was present for the chase that occurred prior to her arrest. Still, authorities are rightfully confused as to how and why the suspect’s alleged behavior escalated from dancing on a car to a high-speed chase encroaching the security of Mar-A-Lago.
While some officials think some kind of impairment was instrumental in the events, Roemhild’s social media history shows posts of anti-Trump sentiments. Facebook posts showed her sharing a picture of the Women’s March with the a sign saying“Not my president. Love trumps hate.”
There were also a series of posts that ridiculed Trump’s appearance and ones where she was clearly pro-Bernie Sanders.
It was also uncovered that she’s a registered Democrat.
Instead of Roemhild performing a show in Florida, she’s now in custody and charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. Based upon what allegedly played out, authorities believe that more charges are going to be filed in connection with the incident.
Mar-A-Lago has been the target of attack before.
In January, an Iranian national was arrested about four miles from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago presidential retreat.
The man, identified as Masoud Yareioeill Zoleh on his passport, was armed with several knives, a machete and a pickax. Zoleh was arrested at Bradley Park, which is on the east end of the Flagler Memorial Bridge, according to Palm Beach police spokesman Michal Ogrodnick.
Police responded to a call at around 9:30 a.m. and found Zoleh, who also had $22,000 on him and had a car parked at the Palm Beach International Airport.
What might be most troubling about the entire thing is that just days ago, “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar called for Iran to go after Trump properties. Now that a real threat has been identified, cops around the country began calling for her to be arrested for inciting potential violence and threatening national security.
A Daily News photographer who was on the scene saw Zoleh being taken into custody by three Palm Beach police officers, along with two plainclothes officers whom he was told were from another agency. The man also had camping gear on him, according to the photographer. The Palm Beach Post published photos of the arrest.
The timing of the latest incident comes on the heels of Congressman Ilhan Omar’s not so subtle suggestion in a tweet that the president’s properties worldwide might be a target.
“Trump needs to immediately divest from his businesses and comply with the emoluments clause. Iran could threaten Trump hotels “worldwide” and he could provoke war over the loss of revenue from skittish guests.
His business interests should not be driving military decision.”
Trump needs to immediately divest from his businesses and comply with the emoluments clause. Iran could threaten Trump hotels *worldwide* and he could provoke war over the loss of revenue from skittish guests.
His business interests should not be driving military decisions.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 6, 2020
Well, alrighty then. For someone who constantly uses terms like “dog-whistling”, this sure the heck seems like a not so veiled suggestion to Iraq that maybe Trump’s properties might be an attractive target.
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