Attorney: Mar-a-Lago checkpoint crasher is mentally ill

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Hannah Roemhild, who is accused of driving through checkpoints outside President Donald Trump’s Florida home Mar-a-Lago, looks back during her initial appearance hearing, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, West Palm Beach, Fla. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The Connecticut opera singer who drew gunfire when she smashed an SUV through security checkpoints outside President Donald Trump’s Florida home is mentally ill and wasn’t taking her medication before leading a trooper on a wild chase, her attorney told a judge Monday.

Attorney David Roth did not elaborate on Hannah Roemhild’s illness, but Palm Beach County Judge Ted Booras agreed to have her seen by a psychologist before another hearing is held Friday.

Roemhild, 30, will remain jailed without bail on charges that include aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer from last Friday’s chase through Palm Beach and past security outside Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and home. Roemhild refused to appear in court Saturday.

Authorities say there is no indication she knew she was speeding toward Mar-a-Lago and its security barriers.

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 (4.8 kilometers) away, at speeds in excess of 70 mph (113 kph).

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 tracked her to a motel near Palm Beach International Airport. A trooper tackled her as she tried to flee into her room.

Roemheld has appeared in several Connecticut operas and said on social media recently that she had an unspecified performance scheduled in Palm Beach this past week.

Trump and his family were not at Mar-a-Lago during the shooting, but arrived hours later and spent the weekend there. He recently changed his official residence to Mar-a-Lago from New York City.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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