PALM BEACH, Fla. (CN) – The Connecticut woman who drove through security checkpoints outside President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club Friday, prompting Secret Service to open fire on her, has a history of mental illness and was off her medication at the time of the incident, her attorney claimed.
Hannah Roemhild is facing felony charges for taking police on a chase through the wealthy island of Palm Beach and weaving around security barriers near Mar-a-Lago a few hours before President Trump was scheduled to arrive.
No bond was set at a Monday hearing, and a judge ordered that Roemhild remain in custody with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer have been filed against her, among other charges.
Docket notes indicate Roemhild, 30, had refused to appear in court at her first scheduled hearing over the weekend.
Her defense attorney David Roth told Courthouse News on Monday that she was having a psychiatric breakdown when she allegedly fled from police. Roth did not specify the nature of the mental illness.
A Facebook social media account linked to Roemhild describes her as an aspiring opera singer. The account contains posts critical of President Trump, including a picture in which a “Not My President” sign is held up by a woman in a crowd.
In a February 2017 post, the Facebook account holder quoted a piece by the Thai poet Lang Leav: “She has been feeling it for awhile now — that sense of awakening. There is a gentle rage simmering inside her and it is getting stronger by the day. She will hold it close to her — she will nurture it and let it grow. She won’t let anyone take it away from her. It is her rocket fuel and finally, she is going places.”
Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said at a press conference that it is unclear whether Roemhild knew she was driving towards Mar-a-Lago or that President Trump was arriving at the club later that day.
The saga began Friday morning when an officer from the Florida Highway Patrol, who was working a security job at the Breakers hotel, received reports that Roemhild was standing and dancing on her vehicle.
Roemhild was inside her rented Jeep SUV when the officer approached and knocked on the vehicle. She ignored his commands and then fled, prompting the patrolman to smash out the Jeep’s window with a baton, according to the arrest report released Monday.
Roemhild ran a red light and drove on the wrong side of the rode as the patrolman pursued her away from the Breakers property with his siren activated, according to the report. She turned onto South Ocean Boulevard, which for a long stretch is the island’s only thoroughfare. As the road approached the president’s property, Roemhild drove at high speeds and repeatedly weaved around security barriers, police say.
“The black Jeep continued past a Secret Service checkpoint until it encountered a barricaded area blocked by an unmarked [Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office] vehicle,” the police report states.
With her window already shattered from the earlier encounter with law enforcement, Roemhild drove in the direction of a deputy outside Mar-a-Lago, prompting the deputy, another sheriff’s department officer and a Secret Service agent to open fire, the report states.
Roemhild managed to shake the police pursuit. She passed over a bridge and drove off Palm Beach Island into the densely populated city of West Palm Beach. Florida Highway Patrol later found her at a local hotel. She allegedly tried to flee on foot but was captured by an officer.
She had apparently picked up her mother, Joanna Roemhild, after the police chase across the Town of Palm Beach. Joanna has not been charged with a crime.