On a quiet summer evening Aug. 25, 1978, at the Longboat Key Holiday Inn, a tragedy unfolded that shocked the Key.
That’s when two men who had recently escaped from a Washington state prison work-release program and a 15-year-old girl somehow found their way to the popular hotel on the north end of the Key.
One man, Steven Critzer, began drinking volcanoes in the hotel’s lounge, where a Longboat Key detective was also having a drink. The bartender told the detective he thought Critzer had a gun, but the detective found nothing when he searched him.
But, within 30 minutes, Critzer had taken four hostages on the beach. He then shot and killed a 17-year-old tourist.
A two-hour, multi-agency manhunt ensued, with Critzer taking cover behind St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Catholic Church, and SWAT team members taking their pursuit to the Pattigeorge’s rooftop. Critzer was captured 12 hours after the shooting and eventually sentenced to life in prison.
+ Hit this baby one more time
Police got a crack in their case when a 48-year-old Bradenton driver refused to stop for police Aug. 22, 2001.
After they caught up with him, the man held a crack pipe out of the window of his car and asked police for permission to take one more hit before they arrested him. He admitted to snorting cocaine and smoking crack since the afternoon prior.
Police didn’t arrest his passenger, who had jumped out of the moving vehicle. He told police he had already shot up all of his heroin and wasn’t a crack user.
+ Code Enforcement Board took shape
The Longboat Key Code Enforcement Board held its first meeting Aug. 24, 1981, to discuss ground rules and procedures for addressing code conundrums.
Times have changed: Board members have called the last two meetings to address why they never have meetings anymore.
The answer: The town’s code-enforcement officer has been able to bring properties into compliance before their owners have to go before the board.
Contact Robin Hartill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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2 Florida's Children First 2014 Sarasota Reception
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
16 Pillar of Hope Open House
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
17 Night of Fish, Fun & Fright
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
18 Jewels on the Bay Showhouse
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Goliath grouper lives up to name
Talk about a real big fish.
Mazel tov to Klauber and Mancini
The West Coast Florida Region of AJC (American Jewish Committee) will honor Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini, of Michael’s On East, with its Civic Achievement Award in November.
Bob Havel celebrates 90 years with family members
Bob Havel recently celebrated his 90th birthday on Longboat Key with 24 members of his family.