Plantation police detective accused of beating wife faces judge

Detective Matthew Shechter jailed on $20,000 bond

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Plantation police officer accused of beating his wife appeared before a judge Friday morning in Fort Lauderdale.

Detective Matthew Shechter, 32, was arrested Thursday on charges of domestic battery and domestic battery by strangulation.

Coral Springs police were called to the home after the woman's ex-husband called 911 saying his 13-year-old son, who lives with Schechter, said, "Mom was beat up," according to the police report.

Officers saw her face was swollen. There was a scratch next to her eye and marks on her face and body. 

Shechter's wife told officers they had hired a babysitter Wednesday night so they could go to a casino. When they returned home and were in bed, she said, Schechter punched her in the face about six times when she refused to have sex with him. It was just the beginning of her nightmare.

"She acted like she was passed out, hoping Matt would stop striking her, at which time he ceased," Officer Tyler Reik wrote in his report. 

She told officers that although "she was in tremendous pain," she waited until she was sure he was sleeping, grabbed her phone and tried to crawl toward the door of the bedroom to exit. She said he woke up and shouted, "You are not calling the cops!" 

Shechter's wife said she found the strength to open the door and yell for her teenage son to call 911 before Shechter closed the door, locked it, grabbed her by the neck and punched her again several times. When he let her go, she said, she yelled for her son to call his father or 911 and ran into her son's room. 

"They are going through a divorce and tonight he and his wife went out and she had too much to drink," Schechter told police, according to the report. "When they returned home, she began yelling at him." 

Shechter said he wasn't the one who hit her. He said it was her father, Gregory Lovagilo, who has dementia and who officers said has a frail appearance.

"Matt advised he got in between [the victim] and her father to separate them," Reik wrote. 

Officers took photographs of her injuries, recorded a statement and decided Shechter was the attacker and not Lovagilo. 

According to the Plantation Police Department, Shechter was hired in 2010 and was assigned to the detective division. Shechter, who was once named officer of the month, is on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the investigation. 

About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.