Armed Broward Courthouse Man Out Of Jail

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – The man who was able to get into the Broward Country Courthouse before he was arrested is now out on bail.

Judge Marrilee Ehrlich granted Marin Stroia, 59, of Oakland Park bail Saturday on the condition that he gets a psychological evaluation and surrender all firearms.  His bail was set at $11,000.

On Friday, Stroia was well dressed, came in through an exit and was armed at the Broward County Courthouse.

He immediately approached by deputies after he entered the Broward County Courthouse at about 9:30 a.m. Friday through an exit door. Armed with a pistol he sunk to the floor and turned the gun on himself, pointing it towards his chest and pressing the barrel into his flesh.

Deputy Patrick Kiernan with the Broward Sheriff’s Office was the first to recognized him.

“He pulled out a gun from his waist band,” he said. “He entered the door and ran to the left and I came from around my desk, ran up to him and he sat down and pointed the gun at himself in the chest.”

Kiernan said he “backed up and took cover” before clearing the lobby and requesting back up from other officer.

Judge Joel Lazarus said he witnessed the man with the gun in his hand.

“I just walked out to the top of the escalators, looked down and I could see the feet of the man there. I walked down and saw that he had a gun to his chin. The deputy said he’s asking for a judge.”

Lazarus said he confronted the man and spoke to him for 15 minutes.

“They asked him if he wanted to talk to me, he said yes,” Lazarus said. “So I went down a couple of steps, but I said, ‘I won’t go down until you put the gun down.’ He said, ‘I only have one bullet in the gun,’ and I said, ‘I don’t want that bullet in me.’ I said, ‘if I have to talk to you put the gun down.’ He put the gun down. He moved the gun aside and deputies put him into custody.”

Lazarus said the man needed to vent about his situation.

“He needed somebody to be sympathetic to what he had to say,” Lazarus said. “I can’t resolve his problems but at least I can listen to him.”

Stroia was recognized by deputies who had been alerted to watch for him after he had sent a written to Judge Arthur Birken last summer threatening to harm himself because he was reportedly upset with the way a child support case was unfolding, according to authorities.

“He slipped in as somebody else was going out,” BSO’s Dani Moschella said. “A deputy manning the front desk happened to recognize him. This is a deputy who had dealt with him before during a previous arrest about six months ago.”

Stroia was Baker Acted as he threatened to take his own life. A Baker Act is a means of providing individuals with emergency services and temporary detention for mental health evaluation and treatment when required, either on a voluntary or an involuntary basis.

The action prompted an evacuation of the facility as a Broward Sheriff’s Office SWAT team responded to the call.

Crowds formed outside the courthouse as the drama unfolded but were eventually let back in once the scene was cleared.

Stroia will face charges.

“We are going to charge him criminally for bringing the gun into the courthouse… also for an aggravated assault on deputy Kiernan since he was in possession of the weapon during that interaction,” Sheriff Al Lamberti of BSO said.

According to CBS4’s Joan Murray, Lazarus told the man he would do what ever he could to assist him with his divorce case, once he resolves his criminal case

More from Joan Murray
  • D Noble

    We should all be thankful of how this situation ended.However, it is time to think more seriously about security procedures. Universal precautions must be taken. Never “assume” someone is harmless because of the way they are dressed or the way they look. Everyone should be treated respectfully, but with caution. You never know what is “the last straw” with a person.

  • Lauren

    Omg, what’s really crazy is that guy works, or used to work, as the parking lot security guy at where I work. I mean I used to wait out front for my ride and me and him would speak to each other and everything. I feel so sorry for him that he felt like he had to do what he did to get some help with his divorce problems. That’s so insane.

  • Kelly

    I was in the Courthouse when this all went down. It’s a frightening thing…. They have airport like security to get in the building, but absolutely NO ONE watching the exit doors. Anyone could have slipped in those exit doors unnoticed.

    I can’t help but imagine if this gunman was on a homicidal quest. All he would have to do is choose any courtroom and start firing.

    I feel bad for the guy, though….Sheesh…. To go to such lengths just to have someone LISTEN to you…. Be your friend and confidant. It’s sad.

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