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Sarasota Shooter Surrenders at the Westin Hotel

On Saturday, May 5th, 2018 a man fired several shots into a residential condominium then barricaded himself in a room at the Westin Hotel in Sarasota. The suspect was later identified as 25-year old Ryan Flanzer of Longboat Key. At 12:00 pm on Saturday, Flanzer arrived at a condominium in downtown Sarasota and was let in, claiming to be a process server. Wearing a badge and black tactical vest, Flanzer approached the third floor of the condominium and fired several shots into the door of apartment 305. Flanzer then fled the scene in a dark blue or black SUV. Law enforcement officials have stated that apartment 305 was unoccupied at the time of the incident, and that no one was injured.

Several hours later, around 6:00 pm, police responded to a call at the Westin Hotel--just down the road from where shots were previously fired. Flanzer had barricaded himself in a hotel room at the Westin, but a crisis negotiation team was able to convince him to surrender. No shots were fired and no one was injured.

Flanzer posted bond early Sunday morning, but was put on hold by the Sarasota Police Department under the Baker Act. The Baker Act allows mentally ill individuals in Florida to be held in custody pending a mental health examination. Although Flanzer posted bond, he is still being held for mental health reasons. Law enforcement officials have stated that the shooting was a targeted, isolated incident, and that the public is not in any danger.

A History of Fraud

Police have yet to identify the reason for the shooting, although it has been revealed that Flanzer is in the middle of a civil lawsuit against a Seth Bloom. Bloom, owner of Czar Ventures LLC, allegedly convinced Flanzer to invest $300,000 in a fake marine boat company. Bloom was convicted of fraud in 2014 in North Carolina, yet entered into a contract with Flanzer regarding the fake company. In April of this year, Flanzer filed a complaint stating that Czar Ventures LLC had no assets, reputation, or clear business operations. The company was charged with several counts of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment. This was not the first fake company that Bloom operated—his past “businesses” included Monster Marine LLC and Goliath Group, LLC. Upon Flanzer’s investment, he was promised $6,500 a month for 10 years, plus a return. Flanzer received two payments of $6,500, the last being in March 2018, and has received no communication from the company since.

Earlier this year, Flanzer announced his affiliation with the Longboat Key Police Department. In a post on Facebook, he stated that he was a consultant and a “crime prevention specialist”. Law enforcement officials said he has no affiliation with the police department besides providing a generous donation in 2017.

Call Pallegar Law, P.A. For Legal Representation

If you or someone you know has been arrested, charged with a crime, or think you may be charged with a crime, contact an experienced Sarasota criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. Call 941-893-5816 for your free consultation.

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