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Press Release

Man Charged in Federal Court for Destroying Property at U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Fort Lauderdale

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida

Miami, Florida – A federal criminal complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale has charged Matthew Leon Chilcutt, 43, with destruction of federal property for allegedly causing extensive damage to the U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in Fort Lauderdale on September 5, 2022.

According to the criminal complaint affidavit, Chilcutt broke into the courthouse’s main entrance and vandalized the interior and exterior spaces of the building, including smashing windows, breaking doors, causing water damage, and destroying other property. He was found inside the courthouse by officers from Fort Lauderdale Police Department who arrested Chilcutt and charged him with burglary. The courthouse was closed to the public during the incident in observance of the Labor Day holiday, and no one was injured.

Chilcutt is scheduled to appear in federal court on September 9, 2022, to answer the federal charges.  If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida and the Federal Protective Service (“FPS”), Miami Region, made the announcement. 

FPS investigated this case with assistance from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. Snider is prosecuting the case.

A complaint is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.  The below photos are part of the criminal complaint.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 22-mj-06428.

Photograph of smashed window inside U.S. Courthouse
Photograph of broken door inside the U.S. Courthouse













Public Affairs Unit
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Updated September 9, 2022

Violent Crime