Rape suspect released from prison due to COVID-19 meets fiery death after standoff with Pa. SWAT
“He’s not himself. I’ve known him for 16 years and he’s not the same guy I had known him to be.”
That’s a quote from a tavern owner allegedly targeted by a rape suspect who was recently released from prison due to the COVID-19 pandemic — only to spark a police altercation Tuesday that ended in a SWAT standoff and ultimately the suspect’s fiery death.
And it is certainly an understatement. 6ABC reporting on the incident in Hilltown Township, Bucks County, called it a “wild scene.”
Here’s some 6ABC video showing the fiery climax of the SWAT standoff that is believed to have claimed the life of accused rapist Curtis L. Fish, 48:
It was a wild scene in Hilltown Township, Bucks County today when an alleged rape suspect was involved in an altercation in the neighborhood. Authorities say the suspect barricaded himself in a home that went up in flames. @BobBrooks6abc has more at 11.https://t.co/xMbS5OUK6a pic.twitter.com/VGkdDq9LoU
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) May 13, 2020
Police say Fish beat and raped a woman he held captive on New Year’s Day. He had been arrested and jailed on charges stemming from the case. But Fish was recently released due to the coronavirus pandemic — against the recommendation of Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub.
Just before Tuesday’s standoff and fire, Fish reportedly tried to break into the Crossroads Tavern before fleeing into his home nearby, 6ABC reports.
Crossroads Tavern owner Mike Mrozinski was inside the business at the time and then watched most of the ensuing events unfold. He’s the one who told 6ABC that Fish simply is “not himself, not the same guy I had known him to be.”
Mrozinski told 6ABC that police responding to the tavern break-in attempted to Taser Fish, to no avail.
The ensuing SWAT standoff ended with a bang – literally – as video reportedly shows Fish setting off fireworks toward officers, 6ABC reports.
Moments later, his residence went up in flames. “Fireworks outside and fireworks inside. So I believe that’s what lit the house on fire,” Mrozinski told 6ABC.
Hilltown Township Police Chief Christopher Englehart told the news station he believes the man found dead inside is Fish, but the official ID was pending autopsy.
It turned out Fish was recently released from prison because of COVID-19. He’d been behind bars after police say he raped and kidnapped a woman this past New Year’s Day.
Hilltown Police found the victim brutally beaten, bleeding from her mouth, with both eyes nearly swollen shut, CBSPhilly.com reports, adding: The victim told police that Fish held her captive, strangled her with electrical wire and “busted up her face.”
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub told 6ABC he strongly advised against Fish from being released due to COVID-19, but Fish was let go anyway.
Thankfully, no officers were hurt during Tuesday’s incident, according to 6ABC