Detective accused of brutally attacking wife walks out of jail

Judge orders Plantation detective to stay away from wife

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – When Coral Springs Police Department officers arrived at his home, Plantation Police Department Detective Matthew Shechter had a lot to say about why his wife's face was swollen. On Friday night, he kept his lips sealed as he walked out of the Broward County jail. 

Shechter, who is facing a domestic battery charge for the brutal attack, was released on a $20,000 bond. He won't be going back to his Coral Springs home. Broward County Judge Jackie Powell ordered him to stay away. 

When he was a lot more chatty with officers, Shechter, 32, blamed the violence on his wife's 62-year-old father, Gregory Lovagilo, who has dementia and who officers said has a frail appearance. Shechter's 31-year-old wife told the officers the detective was to blame for the brutal attack.

She said he had punched her in the face so hard, her contact lenses jumped out. 

According to the police report, the officers responded to Shechter's home after her ex-husband called 911 saying his 13-year-old son, who lives with Shechter, said, "Mom was beat up."  Officer Tyler Reik wrote she also had a scratch next to her eye and marks on her face and upper body. 

She 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, Shechter 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," Reik wrote. 

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 bedroom door. She said he woke up and shouted, "You are not calling the cops!" 

Shechter's wife said she opened the door to yell for her teenage son to call 911. Shechter closed the door, locked it, grabbed her by the neck and punched her again several times, she said, according to the report.

When he let her go, she said, she yelled again for her son to call his father or 911, and she ran into her son's bedroom, where she remained until police officers arrived. Officers took photographs of her injuries, recorded a statement and decided Shechter was the attacker and not Lovagilo. 

The Shechters have had trouble in their relationship before. Court records show she filed for divorce April 14, 2017, but she changed her mind about a month later. 

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

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

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.