Gunmen Turn Home into House of Horrors

Curtis Tyon Wright

One Arrested; More Suspects at Large

RIDGEWAY – A Columbia man turned himself in to the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office this week while investigators there are still searching for at least three others after a grisly home invasion on Jan. 11 turned a residence on Rose Lane into a torture chamber.

Capt. Brad Douglas said Curtis Tyon Wright, 20, of William Hardin Road in Columbia, surrendered to deputies at the Sheriff’s Office Monday afternoon. Wright had been identified as the man seen attempting to use a debit card, stolen during the Rose Lane invasion, at an ATM on Hardscrabble and Farrow roads in Columbia shortly after the incident. Wright has been charged with kidnapping and burglary, with additional charges pending, including three more counts of kidnapping, armed robbery and assault and battery.

At 12:30 a.m. Jan. 11, according to a Sheriff’s Office report, a 37-year-old Winnsboro man answered a knock at the front door of 28 Rose Lane in Ridgeway. In the doorway was a man described as a “brown-skinned black male with a low haircut and big eyes.” The suspect pointed a gun at the face of the victim, pushed his way into the home and threw the victim to the floor. The suspect struck the victim with the handgun and kicked him in the ribs. A second victim in the home, a 39-year-old Ridgeway man, was in the living room at the time of the invasion and was also beaten and kicked by the suspect. At least two other suspects followed into the home, going into the back of the home and waking up the wife of the first victim, a 25-year-old woman, forcing her at gunpoint into the living room. The couple’s son, 7, was also in the home at the time of the invasion.

Once all the victims were rounded up in the living room, the suspects ordered them to strip off their clothes. The woman begged the suspects to let her son go back to his bedroom. The suspects complied, and once the boy was back in his room, the victims were forced to strip naked and were taped together, back-to-back, with clear packing tape.

According to the report the second male victim, the 39-year-old Ridgeway man, said the suspects were “looking for drugs and money,” and that the suspects “hung around for a long time while they searched the residence.” During that time, the report states, the suspects took turns beating the victims as they were tied together and, adding to the horror, burning the victims with a hot frying pan.

After the suspects had gathered up a little more than $200 in cash, a pair of debit cards and clothing and electronics worth $600, they left the victims tied up in the home. On their way out, one of the suspects fired a single shot into the home as a punctuation mark to the evening’s events.

The ordeal had lasted until around 4 a.m. Forty minutes later, at an AllSouth ATM on Farrow and Hardscrabble roads in Columbia, Wright tried to use one of the debit cards to withdraw cash. He was unsuccessful; however, his image was captured by the ATM’s internal surveillance camera.

At press time, Wright was being held at the Fairfield County Detention Center.