FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4)- Skirting metal detectors by finding the weakest link in security at the Broward County Courthouse, a well dressed 59-year-old Marin Stroia secretly brandished a gun in his waistband and entered the building through the exit door.
He and a revolver he ultimately raised to his chin were able to slip through.
“Broward County is not immune, we are not immune from incidents like the tragedy in Tucson Arizona, or Columbine High School” a concerned Broward County Sherriff, Al Lamberti, told a crowd of reporters following a day of drama and averted disaster.Fortunately security officers quickly recognized him from alerts that had been posted because of prior threats involving his divorce case. Authorities cordoned him off and Judge Joel Lazarus got him to give up the gun.
“He said I’ve only got one bullet in the gun and I said I don’t want it in me,” said Lazarus.
But the chilling episode left Sheriff Lamberti upset because it was a scenario he long warned could happen.
“In the past we’ve asked for certain things to be done but there have been funding issues. Today demonstrated a deficiency,” said Lamberti.
On the heels of Panama City’s horrifying school board shooting and the attempted assassination of a U.S. Congresswoman and the murder of innocent bystanders in Texas, renewed attention may be re- directed at some government locals.
Following the attacks of 911 security protocols were ramped up across our community and nation, but as the years have gone by, you may not have noticed that some of those safety precautions have disappeared.
Example: the Miami Dade Government Center where during commission meetings the brain trust of Miami Dade government meets with the public. Gone are the metal doctors that once filled the lobby. According to the county, “it was a cost cutting measure” taken three years ago. The Building and its parameter are patrolled by security by foot. But all the security officers Chief I-Team Investigator Michele Gillen spoke with off-camera who did not want to be identified described the change as worrisome.
Meanwhile back in Broward efforts are underway to change that exit door and a call has been sounded to secure the civil court filing room. As the Veteran Clerk of Courts Patrick Kiernan said, “Any one can walk in there. There’s no magnetizer, no police protection, any one can walk in here and do God knows what.”