PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – A Connecticut woman who led a Florida Highway Patrol trooper on a chase which blasted through two security checkpoints at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort refused to appear in court on Saturday.
Palm Beach County Judge Ted Booras said Hannah Roemhild’s first hearing would be held Monday if she could be brought from the jail to the court without endangering herself or deputies.
Roemhild, 30, is charged with two state counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer after Friday’s wild chase through Palm Beach and past the president’s Mar-a-Lago club. She is being held at the Palm Beach County jail without bond. Officials have said Roemhild was “obviously impaired” and they do not believe she targeted the president or Mar-a-Lago.
Friday’s events began just before noon when a Florida Highway Patrol trooper working an off-duty security shift at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach approached Roemhild as she danced on the roof of her rented Jeep SUV in the high-end resort’s parking lot. She jumped inside and refused to acknowledge his taps on the glass.
She then put the car in reverse and drove away. The trooper smashed the window and tried to grab the steering wheel to prevent her from leaving, but she sped away, leading him on a chase south down swanky Ocean Drive toward Mar-a-Lago, 3 miles miles away, at speeds in excess of 70 mph.
Authorities there say she swerved around concrete barriers and through two checkpoints, endangering the lives of Secret Service agents and Palm Beach County deputies staffing them. They opened fire, breaking out her back window. At this point, the trooper ended his pursuit, fearing lives would be endangered if it continued.
At some point, Roemheld picked up a female relative before automatic license plate readers soon tracked her to a motel near Palm Beach International Airport. A trooper tackled her as she tried to flee into her room.
TV video shows a dazed Roemheld showing a blank expression as she was handcuffed and placed into a patrol car.
Roemheld, a singer who has appeared in several Connecticut operas, said on social media recently that she had an unspecified performance scheduled in Palm Beach this past week.
Marilyn Malcarne, a Connecticut friend of the Roemhild family, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel that the woman’s alleged behavior is completely out of character and she “wouldn’t hurt a soul.”
“She’s incredibly talented,” Malcarne said. “She has really studied her opera singing and she has an amazing voice.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)