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High-Speed Chase Leads to Security Breach at Mar-a-Lago

After drawing law enforcement scrutiny for dancing on her vehicle at an upscale hotel Friday morning, a woman took police on a high-speed chase towards President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, driving through security barriers until officers opened fire.

PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) – After drawing law enforcement scrutiny for dancing on her vehicle at an upscale hotel Friday morning, a woman took police on a high-speed chase towards President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club, driving through security barriers until officers opened fire.

Hannah Roemhild, 30, has been arrested on charges of reckless driving and endangering law enforcement outside Mar-a-Lago. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and Secret Service fired on her when she breached a security barrier within earshot of Mar-a-Lago's gates.

There are no reports of injuries from the chase or the gunfire.

Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at an afternoon press conference that the saga began at Palm Beach's ultra-posh Breakers hotel, where security was concerned that Roemhild was acting unruly.  A Florida Highway Patrol officer who was working a security job at the hotel learned that the woman had been "on top of her car, doing some kind of dance," Bradshaw said.

The officer knocked on the window of Roemhild's rental SUV. She ignored him and then tried to flee, prompting the officer to "smash ... her window out" in an attempt to stop her, according to Bradshaw.

Early reports from the Highway Patrol indicated that Roemhild led the patrolman on a chase that reached speeds of 70 mph. At one point, she was allegedly driving on the wrong side of the road.

Roemhild headed towards Mar-a-Lago on a small road on the Town of Palm Beach, a wealthy beachside island. It's unclear whether the woman knew where she was headed or that the president was scheduled to arrive at the club – dubbed the "Winter White House" – within hours.

"It's a road that leads nowhere else but to Mar-a-Lago. I'm not so sure she knew where she was going," the sheriff said.

Bradshaw justified the decision to open fire by claiming deputies had no idea what Roemhild's intentions were when she drove around the presidential security checkpoints.

"Due to [the erratic driving and] the fact that she had breached these two checkpoints, it was unknown at that point in time ... how many lives she was going to put in danger. We didn't know if it was somebody with a car bomb. ... We didn't know if somebody was there who was trying to hit as many pedestrians as possible," Bradshaw said.

Roemhild managed to escape the police’s ground pursuit twice. Florida Highway Patrol encountered her outside her local motel room and tackled her to the ground Friday afternoon.

Police say Roemhild could face multiple charges of assault on a law enforcement officer.

Neither Trump nor any presidential family members under Secret Service protection were in Palm Beach County at the time of the incident, the Secret Service said.

Categories / Criminal

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