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Man who donated $200K to Longboat and shot up a condo, avoids jail time


STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Ryan Flanzer was arrested in Sarasota after he fired three rounds from his semi-automatic pistol into a condominium unit at 1350 Main in Downtown Sarasota on May 5, 2018. But his story reads like a twisted tale of police impersonation, vendetta and bad judgement. The events ware even penned in the The Daily Beast,

Perhaaps the great irony is Flanzer, a man who at times reportedly called himself a police officer and process server, ended up avoiding prison.

Flanzer, 27, listed himself on LinkedIn as a “Crime Prevention consultant” for the Longboat Key Police Department since 2017.

“I protect and serve me finance and interest #LongBoatKeyPolice , volunteer officer,” he wrote in an Instagram post less than two months before his arrest.

On one of Flanzer’s Instagram posts, it showed a Sig Sauer handgun and a concealed carry license in a case that resembled a police badge. In one of the more disturbing aspects of his police worship, he reportedly generated proceeds for police departments by selling hoodies online depicting the Columbine High School shooters.

But Flanzer desire to impersonate the police is what brought this behavior to an end.

Flanzer, distressed about being disinherited by his philanthropist grandparents and suffering from drug addiction and mental illness, began compiling a “hit list” of people he believed had financially wronged him, including “the trustee of Flanzer’s grandparents’ estate, the trustee’s lawyer, and Longboat Key Police Chief Peter Cumming, who had accepted Flanzer’s $200,000-plus donation.”

Flanzer went to the home of one of the targets on his list dressed in body armor, a fake badge and a holstered pistol, and told bystanders he was a police officer. He then repeated the act at the 1350 Main condo in Downtown Sarasota of the owner of a boating company he was suing, opened fire on the door lock, then barricaded himself in a hotel — and ultimately surrendered after a standoff with SWAT officers in May 2018.

The grandson of prominent Florida philanthropists, Flanzer ran his own record label, Nice Manor. He told newspapers that he was a talent manager for the MTV reality show “Siesta Key.” That has never been corroborated.

Months before the May 2018 shooting, Flanzer made the donation to the Longboat Key police department for new cameras and computers. Chief Cumming said the Town would install a plaque with Flanzer’s name on the outside of police station to honor his gift.

Flanzer’s philanthropist grandparents, former Longboat Key residents Gloria and Louis Flanzer, had disinherited him before their deaths, prompting Flanzer to sue the trustee of their estate.

In a series of April 2018 tweets on his account, Flanzer accused the trustee of “stealing 500$ million +” from his family. He called the millions “my own money” and claimed to be working with a journalist on a book that would expose his rivals.

On his personal Instagram, he began posting caches of weapons with allusions to crime-fighting. “Nice men take out the bad men,” read an April 29 post featuring three guns and his record label’s logo.

In addition to the lawsuit against the trustee of his grandparents’ estate, in late April Flanzer filed a lawsuit against a boating business in which he’d invested $300,000.

Flanzer subsequently compiled a list of people he believed had wronged him financially.

Among the six names on the list were the trustee of Flanzer’s grandparents’ estate, the trustee’s lawyer, and Longboat Key Police Chief Peter Cumming, who had recently accepted Flanzer’s $200,000-plus donation.

On May 4, 2018, Flanzer, according to police, dressed in body armor, a badge, and a holstered pistol and visited the home of a person on his list. When bystanders questioned him, he allegedly said he was a cop.

“I’m looking for a wanted person,” he allegedly told them. “I work with law enforcement.” He was not charged in the incident.

The next day, he allegedly went to the 1350 Main condo of the boating company owner he was suing. It is reported he told the condo security he was a process server. When he arrived at the empty apartment, he fired at the door lock before fleeing in his Cadillac Escalade and barricading himself in a Sarasota hotel. After a standoff with SWAT teams, he surrendered.

As he was arrested, Flanzer blamed officers for his financial losses. “I was going to apprehend a most wanted person that had personally stolen a million dollars from me because you guys were just not doing your job,” he told detectives, according to the Herald-Tribune.

He was charged with seven felonies, including attempted armed burglary and impersonating an officer. All of those charges, except several drug counts and one count of firing a weapon, were dropped in his plea agreement last month, which allowed him to exchange jail time for his time in a Malibu, California rehabilitation center.

Flanzer is reportedly now studying at UCLA.

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