Posted by: brad – Feb 07, 2014
It's not often a story weaves around the country like an insidious spider following Widespread Panic from outdoor arena to 400 seat club. But when it happens, it's almost too much to believe.
Let's preface this story by saying, as far as actual accusations, we only have one official source saying the person in question, Eric Lannon, has done anything wrong (or even really exists). But on closer inspection (and after a number of Google searches) it's easy to see a pattern emerge--including pink Vineyard Vines plastic sunglasses, flip-flops in November, and Romney events--which tracks Lannon's 1% style jack-assery up and down the east coast.
Lannon came to light via a University of Richmond Police statement warning students about him loitering on campus and taking advantage of any rube he could get close to. Lannon, police warn, has a "history of theft and swindling. He manipulates his victims into providing shelter, food, money, and transportation under false pretenses."
U of R PD tell students to avoid all contact with Lannon if they see him, and to call police immediately. Lannon isn't necessarily wanted by U of R PD, but rather he is on "no-trespass status," which means he is not welcome on campus.
U of R's campus paper, the Collegian, picked up on the story and actually caught up with some local bros who had already been tangled in Lannon's lies:
On Tuesday night four junior Richmond students met a man they later identified as Lannon in the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business. Lannon told them he was looking for his sister, whom he was staying with.
Lannon borrowed one student’s cell phone and computer but could not contact anyone, the students said. When he wasn’t able to contact his family by 4:30 a.m., the final student in the group of friends, identified here as Sam, was preparing to leave the business school.
“I felt bad for the guy,” Sam said. “I didn’t want him sitting in the rain.”
Sam said he offered for Lannon to stay at his house, gave him a sleeping bag and took back his computer.
When Sam got his computer back, he said he had started searching the Internet to find out more about his houseguest.
“I started reading these stories about how this guy is just ridiculous,” Sam said. “And I saw this picture and realized that’s him. And that’s when I was like, this guy definitely can’t stay here.”
Any internet search for Eric Lannon leads to a hilarious and hard-to-believe series of stories across internet message boards which paint Lannon as the greatest hippy-bro upper-crust scam artist ever.
It appears, according to posts on jam-band forum Phantasy Tour, Lannon has a long history of bonding with bros under false pretenses, and then using and abusing the relationships he develops.
PT user doezer posted a particularly lengthy story of an encounter with Lannon that took weeks to end.
"Everyone has known one or two guys in college who tag along to a party or would always show up in your dorm room even though he is not friends with you, and that's what I took Eric for..." writes doezer.
Doezer goes on to detail the supposed interaction with Lannon, including many stolen beers (brews!) and broken bro-promises.
Before long Lannon, who's been sleeping on this guys couch for some time, gets in a fight with his begrudged host, sleeps with everyone's girlfriends, and steals everyone's iPhones/iPads.
Another story, this time from an unnamed woman, details another Lannon incident, but all the same characteristics are there - stolen booze, getting kicked out of a bar, telling people he's suing his folks for his trust fund. This guy sounds like a real winner.
So I got forwarded the chain not related to anyone named Eric Lannon today and I’M IN SHOCK. The same thing happened to me and my roommate.. he came into Raleigh (by bus, didn’t know that til after the fact) helped himself to everything. Was drinking during the day while we were at work. He got kicked out of our neighborhood bar. Got into a charity event without a ticket because claimed they never emailed him the conformation. Was drinking screwdrivers at brunch and talking about how he’s suing his parents for his trust fund etc. That night which was my birthday night he asked to have cookout at our house, went and bought a new grill because ours wasn’t good enough. Started burning money on it and saying racial slurs etc. My roommate ditched him at the bar I came home to him passed out on our couch have NO clue how he got in. I had friends with me and we woke him up just to have him freak out on us, push me down, and run out the door with a HUGE mirror just to shatter it to pieces on our walkway. It was the most insane night of my life.
Do you have a Eric Lannon story? Again, all we really have to go on legally is what U of R police have released; all of the above-mentioned stories from the internet could be fabrications.
We'll bring updates as they come in; until then, stay frosty bros.
UPDATED 1:20 PM We got this emailed from a reader. Again, this is a personal account, and not to be used as ammunition against us in a law suit.
So here's what Thomas L. said about when he was "Lannoned"
Unfortunately such brazen trash as this does exist. I myself have experienced it personally. It turned knots in my stomach once I realized what had happened. He's good, and by that I mean he's fucking good at what he's doing. Fortunately now there's people on the internet spreading his story, hell I even started a private Facebook group devoted to warning people when he was in town, then realized it was more effective posting it to my timeline (I'm fbook friends with him by the way hahaha, like to keep tabs when he's borrowed/stolen a device.)
My encounter starts two years ago, after a Benedictine Alumni event. I left our campus on Sheppard street to meet some friends at F.W. Sullivan's for drinks. He forced his way into a conversation we were having and started playing the name game, he's fucking good at the name game. Not five minutes in he was name dropping kids that were younger than me, but that I had still known for 10+ years and people that I trusted. He kept on playing his little game to the point of annoyance. My friends became annoyed with his presence so I took one for the team and suggested that my new found life long friend and I went bar hopping. We did the Robinson crawl hitting all of the usual suspects. At the end of the night I informed him that I was going home and calling it a night. He said he was staying on Boulevard, conveniently where I lived, so he'd walk with me. When I arrived at my place he invited me to come "do a shitload of cocaine" with he and his friends. I declined, college is over. I figured this was the end of the shadiest/creepiest experience of my life.
The next night I was at work, I formerly managed a restaurant on Richmond's South Side. I received a message from my roommate asking me what time I was getting off work because my buddy Eric was at our apartment hanging out looking for me. My only thought was how in the hell did he get in, but that was easily explained as he saw my roommate on our porch and introduced himself as a great friend of mine from the sidewalk. My roommate knows how close I am with my friends so if that's what he is than he's more than welcome in our house. I rush home from work to throw him out of our apartment but only find he and my roommate drinking wine, and discussing hippy music on our porch. They're getting a long so I don't bother the situation, my concern was that he was annoying my roommate like he was annoying my friends at the bar. He crashes on our recliner that night under the auspices that he had an early flight to catch at the Richmond Airport to take him back to his "Real Estate Hedge Fund" in Raleigh that pays him hundreds of thousands of dollars every year...yeah he said that. I wake up at 9am and the deadbeat is still on my recliner passed out. I start kicking him to wake up because he missed his flight. He asks to borrow my laptop and phone to contact the airline because he lost his phone and wallet and needs to reschedule his flight. At this point I would have done anything to be rid of him. And did. I'm getting ready for work and he's still there, at which time I inform him he needs to hit the road. He asks for a ride to his friends house, who will be taking him to the airport. I asked where they lived because I was running late and his said Davis and Robinson to which I reacted "That's 2 blocks away?!" whatever get in the car.
I drop him off, then start telling this story to friends of mine in the area and somewhere it clicks, and I'm introduced to the concert blog about him and all sorts of stories matching mine, unfortunately mine isn't over yet.
3 weeks later I get a message from my roommate at work, who I've already informed all about Eric and told him to not let him near our apartment. Roommate asks me if I had anyone stopping by because he got a call from the front door box. I joked that maybe it was his buddy Eric Lannon and we got a laugh out of it. HE'S GODDAMN BEETLE JUICE, if you say his name he fucking appears. 20 minutes later he walked into the door of my restaurant on a crutch with a neck brace on and I'm thinking to myself that someone finally got those good shots in on him that everyone else wanted to take. According to Eric he fell off of a balcony in Georgetown and had to hire a car to bring him down to Richmond to meet up with his family later on but he lost his phone and wallet and really needed to get into my apartment to use my laptop or a phone or something. Knowing better I told him that wasn't going to happen, I was at work an nobody was home so there was nothing I could do for him. After some back and forth banter he left. I walked out the patio to see this "hired car" and it was a poor preppy looking kid in a Volvo wagon with his head in his hands and you could just tell his thoughts were "what the hell did I get myself into". Later on I learn that Eric got this kid to give him a ride by running up to him in Carytown and just jumping into his car because he recognized him. Ballsy right?!?
Luckily, nothing was stolen from my nor my roommate, and in the end this is something we get to laugh about, and laugh often. I still warn people when he pops up in town. "Hide your kids, hide your wife, Eric Lannon is in town."
UPDATE, November 2014: For the latest in Eric Lannon's escapades, click here!
Bro'ed together by BK - Top photo of Lannon Via U of R PD