Fort Lauderdale man accused of trying to suffocate father at Ohio nursing home

A Fort Lauderdale man tried to suffocate his terminally ill father and yelled out, "Let me do what I need to do!" while on a tequila-fueled tirade at an Ohio nursing home, according to a police report.

Steven Curtis, 58, also is accused of assaulting a staff member and barricading himself in his father's room at the Oaks of Brecksville nursing home in a Cleveland suburb, the report said.

Two staff members told police they saw Curtis place his hand over his father's nose and mouth in an apparent attempt to smother him, according to the report.

Roy Curtis, 86, died hours later. The medical examiner has not yet determined cause of death.

The younger Curtis, who lives in the 2600 block of Sea Island Drive off Las Olas Boulevard, was arrested by Brecksville police Monday.

At a Tuesday court appearance he pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, assault, menacing and disorderly conduct.

He was released Tuesday after posting $50,000 bond.

Fox 8 News in Cleveland reported that attorneys Pat D'Angelo and Thomas Shaughnessy told a Garfield Heights Municipal Court judge that Curtis had spent the last three days at his gravely ill father's bedside and his only interest was in minimizing his suffering.

"The accused was very attentive, was there taking care of him," D'Angelo reportedly said. "His father had terminal cancer."

When Brecksville police were called to the nursing home about 12:30 a.m. Monday, staff told them that Curtis was "highly intoxicated," had spent the day with his father and had been caught trying to give him tequila, the report said.

Tony Shannon, a nursing home employee, told police that he tried to intervene when he saw Curtis holding his hand over his father's face.

Curtis cursed at him, threatened to kick him in the groin, threw a telephone at him and struck him in the arm, the report said.

According to the report, Curtis next barricaded himself in his father's room. He demanded that he be allowed to "do what I need to do" while shouting an expletive.

Shannon told police he saw Curtis jump on his father's bed, cover his upper body with his own, cry and scream, "I'm sorry."

A nearly empty bottle of Jose Cuervo "Golden Margarita" liquor was found in the father's room, the report said.

The report also said that Roy Curtis' stepdaughter told nursing home staff that she had overheard Steven Curtis whisper to his father: "I could just pinch your nose and this would all be over." The stepdaughter also said that Steven Curtis told family that he had a 2 p.m. flight on Tuesday and "this would all be over by then."

The nursing home issued the following statement: "We were made aware of an incident involving a son's unfortunate reaction to his father's end stage of life. We took all necessary precautions and notified the appropriate authorities."

tealanez@tribune.com, 954-356-4542 or Twitter @talanez