One-Handed Man Used Bat to Break Into Courthouse: Deputies

A one-handed burglar, who deputies said used a bat to break into a county courthouse over the weekend, surrendered to authorities Monday.

After seeing the news release about his alleged crime, the suspect, Joel Hooten, called Broward Sheriff’s Office detectives.

Just before 9 a.m. Feb. 28, BSO said Hooten broke into the North Regional Courthouse at 1600 West Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach.

Once inside the building, deputies said he entered several rooms. It's unknown whether he took anything before he left about 30 minutes later.

Hooten's break-in was discovered the next day when courthouse security arrived to work. As a safety precaution, BSO conducted a search of the building before declaring it all clear.

Hooten, a painter, told investigators he was assigned to work at the courthouse on Sunday. However, BSO detectives learned Hooten had no reason to be there.

Hooten is facing one count of armed burglary of an unoccupied building. It's unknown whether he has an attorney.

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