By Kevin Deutsch
A Tamarac homeowners association president was arrested this month after authorities said he terrorized multiple neighbors with a gun, hurled racial epithets at some, and abused his power in the community, court records allege.
Joseph Steckler, 77, of 8121 NW 100th Ln., is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for pointing a gun at a neighbor in May during a long-running, ongoing dispute with the man, according to an arrest affidavit filed by the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
State corporation records filed in June 2022 list Steckler as president of the Spring Lake Villas Homeowners Association in Tamarac.
Residents in the community told deputies Steckler abused his power for years prior to his Aug. 2 arrest on an outstanding warrant stemming from the aggravated assault case.
In one alleged incident, on Oct. 20, 2021, Steckler left signs on a neighbor’s property calling the man a “s–c,” a racial slur against a Hispanic person, then pulled a handgun, the affidavit states.
In another incident, Steckler allegedly drove by a man’s house and saw his juvenile son walking their dog.
“Pick up after your dog, you little s—c,” Steckler allegedly told the boy.
The boy’s father told deputies that his dispute with Steckler led to his girlfriend, the homeowner, being charged unreasonable fees by the homeowners association, as well as receiving orders to comply with draconian actions, like taking down an American flag.
According to the affidavit, she also got letters from lawyers requesting legal fees.
Another neighbor told deputies Steckler, who has a concealed weapons permit, “constantly” showed his firearm to community residents. The neighbor said Steckler even pointed a gun at kids trying to jump a fence to access the community pool.
“Steckler got away with his behavior because of his title and would harass residents who confronted him,” the neighbor told deputies.
Despite multiple allegations of criminal activity, Steckler is charged with only the aggravated battery crime. An earlier charge of cyberstalking was alleged by BSO but not pursued by prosecutors, records show.
Deputies “asked [multiple residents] to provide sworn statement[s], but they advised that they did not want to be involved because of their fear of being attacked by Steckler and charged with unreasonable homeowner’s association fees,” the affidavit states.
Records show Steckler was booked into the Broward Main Jail and released on a $5,000 bond.
He could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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