It's not clear when 48-year-old Curtis Fish went from being a guy people liked to hang out with to a guy who was accused of taking a woman hostage, raping her and beating her, and then engaging in not one, but two, police stand-offs. What is clear is that at some point Fish's life took a very brutal turn.
On January 2, 2020, Fish was arrested and accused of holding a woman hostage, raping, and beating her after police found the woman in his home brutally beaten, bleeding from her mouth, and with both eyes nearly swollen shut. The woman told officers that Fish held her captive, strangled her with an electrical wire, and “busted up her face.” She said he was an acquaintance of his and that she was at his house hanging out when he “freaked out on her” and her nightmare began.
She told police she was raped by Fish in the basement of his home and then lost consciousness. She also said he held her captive in several different rooms of the home and police said she had bite marks around her fingers and bruises on both thighs.
Fish refused to submit to the officers who attempted to arrest him, leading to a stand-off that shut down part of Hilltown Township. Officers were ultimately able to arrest Fish and he was in jail, unable to post the $850,000 bond, while he awaited trial.
Then COVID-19 struck.
As correctional facilities across the nation began to experience some of the highest rates of COVID-19 infections, authorities in Bucks County looked for ways to keep people in the jail safe from contracting the virus. Against the recommendation of Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub, Fish was released.
Not long after his release, Fish attempted to break into a favorite hangout, the Crossroads Tavern. Owner Mike Mrozinski, and longtime friend of Fish's, was inside the bar at the time and saw Fish trying to break in, and saw much of what happened next.
Police responded to the break-in and attempted to taser Fish, but did not succeed. Fish then left and went to hide from the police in his house, the same house where he is said to have held the woman hostage. When SWAT officers surrounded the house, Fish tried to scare them by setting off fireworks. The fireworks backfired—literally—on him, quickly setting the entire house on fire. Fish died in the fire, trapped inside torturous conditions in the same house where allegedly trapping and torturing someone else started his legal problems.
Interviewed for a local television station, bar owner Mrozinski said he had known Fish for 16 years and, “he's not himself, not the same guy I had known him to be."
It's not clear what happened to make Fish change or when he changed, only that he transformed into a different person, who would resort to such extreme, violent actions. And now, we will never know.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal prosecution in Pennsylvania, our team can help. Contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686, or online.