Three teenagers fleeing police while carrying a semiautomatic weapon in a backpack jumped a wall at Mar-a-Lago on Friday.
President Donald Trump was not in residence at the time, and authorities say that the teens probably didn’t know that’s where they were.
They dumped the backpack, which contained a Mini Draco 7.62 calibre AK-47 with a loaded 14-round magazine. They claimed to have found the weapon.
He said the three are lucky that neither the president nor any family members were there, because Secret Service agents might have shot them. The club is closed for the summer.
“They had no idea where they were,” Mr Ogrodnick said.
According to a police report, an officer spotted the teens sitting in a parked car early on Friday morning about two miles north of the resort. When he turned on his overhead lights, the vehicle sped south towards Mar-a-Lago.
As they approached the club, the teens spotted a second officer who was conducting an unrelated traffic stop and abruptly stopped their car. It is believed that they assumed it was a roadblock set up to catch them.
The three teens bolted from the vehicle, jumped Mar-a-Lago’s nearby wall and hid on the resort’s grounds.
Officers surrounded the club and a helicopter and police dog were used to locate them. They did not try to get inside any of the resort’s buildings.
The teens are charged with trespassing with a firearm, burglary with a firearm and resisting arrest without violence.
They are being held at the Juvenile Assessment Centre in West Palm Beach. while prosecutors decide whether to charge them as adults.
This is not the first intrusion at Mar-a-Lago since Mr Trump became president in 2017, with most incidents seemingly involving people just walking onto the premises.
In 2018 a University of Wisconsin student walked in having mingled with a group of members as they entered, even passing through metal detectors. On another occasion, a Chinese national was charged with loitering and resisting an officer after trespassing and taking photos at the club, having entered through a service entrance.
In March 2019, Yujing Zhang, a Chinese businesswoman gained access to the club by saying she was there to use the pool. The cellphones and computer she carried sparked fears of attempted espionage. She was found guilty of trespassing and lying to the Secret Service and was sentenced in November to time served.
As recently as January, Brandon Magnan, a former marine discharged for sex offences, got past two checkpoints claiming to be part of the president’s helicopter crew.
Causing most alarm, in January the Secret Service opened fire when Hannah Roemhild, an opera singer from Connecticut, crashed an SUV through a checkpoint while fleeing police. She was unhurt and has since entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
With reporting from The Associated Press