The recent news report by CBS4 Miami about a Miami Beach man who was charged with attempted murder and attempted arson for plotting to burn down his condo building should serve as a wake-up call for all condominium associations in Florida and across the country. It appears to be a case in which the warning signs may have triggered a call to authorities that averted a horrific tragedy just in the nick of time.
The report states witnesses told police that Walter Stolper, 72, had shown aggression toward his fellow residents and the members of the association’s board of directors at their building at 56th Street and Collins Avenue. As a result, he was facing an eviction action.
The breaking point for the initial call to authorities came when Stolper spoke with his friend Luis Diaz, who states in the station’s report: “He told me he was tired of the association and the Jews in the building and he wanted to do something about it. He said he wanted to burn down the building. At first, I didn’t think he was serious, but then I heard him talk about blocking the fire department and their hoses, I realized he was serious and I had to do something.”