According to court documents, at around 3 a.m., 54-year-old Curtis Reed got into an altercation with his girlfriend of eight years. He was angry that she wouldn’t let him have any alcohol so he threw a frozen chicken at her before going after her with a frying pan and a knife. Luckily, Antoine Willis, the woman’s teen son, was able to wrestle Reed to the ground and hold him there while two of his friends punched Reed.
After being let up, Reed reportedly walked around the house informing everyone that they better not fall asleep. So the mom, her son and his girlfriend all tried staying awake by playing video games, but around 5 a.m. they all fell asleep.
A couple hours later, Willis woke up to the smell of something cooking and realized pretty quickly that it was his head. Reed had doused it with lighter fluid and then turned him into a screaming matchstick. Willis jumped up and ran around trying to put out the fireball that had engulfed his face while Reed reportedly chased after him spraying him with more lighter fluid while shouting, “I got you! I got you now!”
Reed was arrested and charged with first-degree assault after running to a neighbor’s to call 911 while stating he had done something stupid. Willis was rushed to the hospital suffering from second and third degree burns to his hands, face, neck, torso, scalp and ears.
Willis appeared on television looking like a mummy with bandages covering most of his face, and stated that Reed purposely setting him on fire, a man who he looked up to as a father figure, hurts him as much as the burns. “I’m kind of broken hearted that it happened I didn’t think that it would happen. Didn’t think someone could burn you alive,” he said.
The tension between Reed and Curtis has been brewing for some time. Willis says it’s a jealousy thing and that Reed simply doesn’t want him in the home. Other family members think they know why that is. “Why doesn’t Curtis like Antoine? Because Antoine isn’t going to let Curtis put a hand on his mom,” said Derrick Sanders, Willis’s cousin.
This latest incident really shouldn’t have come as no surprise, as this family has been in trouble for a while now. Police say they have been called to the home over 30 times in the last five years, seven of those times being domestic disturbance calls.
Doctor’s aren’t sure if Willis will suffer permanent scarring or not and it could be three to four weeks before he’s released from the hospital. Because of this, and the fact that he does not have insurance, a fund has been set to help pay for his medical bills. So if you got any extra dough, and would like to help this kid out, donations can be made in his name at any Bremer Bank.
Most readers of this site know the sympathy I feel for burn victims, having spent some time at the Chapel Hill Burn Unit after one of my family was almost steamed to death in an accident. Having seen first-hand the damage it does as well as the physical therapy required for survivors of such injuries, I wouldn’t wish this kind of injury on my worst enemy. Because Reed chased the boy and sprayed even more fluid on him, I’m really hoping that his charges are upgraded to attempted murder.Tags: Antoine Willis, assault and battery, burn, Crime, Curtis Reed, Domestic Violence, lighter fluid, Minnesota