Former Plantation police officer of the month arrested in Coral Springs

Detective Matthew Shechter faces domestic violence charges

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

PLANTATION, Fla. - The days when he was named the Plantation Police Department's officer of the month are in the past for Detective Matthew Shechter, who was arrested Thursday in Coral Springs. 

Shechter, 32, is accused of beating up his 31-year-old wife. Paramedics took the victim, who had visible injuries to her face, neck and chest, to Broward Health Coral Springs. 

"She is healing," said a person who did not want to be identified but was at home with her Thursday afternoon. 

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 Shechter, 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. 

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," 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," Shechter 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. 

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. 

Shechter is facing charges of domestic battery and domestic battery by strangulation. 

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

Copyright 2019 by WPLG - All rights reserved.