Sebastian Man Charged with Attempted Murder and Kidnapping

Steve Wayne Artis of Sebastian.
Steve Wayne Artis of Sebastian.

According to the Sebastian Police Department, a man was arrested early Monday after holding a knife to his girlfriend’s throat.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., police received a 911 hang-up call from the 200 block of South Wimbrow Drive in Sebastian. According to the affidavit, when officers arrived, a woman ran to them and said her boyfriend just held a knife to her throat.

The man was identified as 40-year-old Steven Wayne Artis of Sebastian.

“I observed Artis grabbing belongings and placing them outside of the residence. At one point, he puts a shirt on and exits the front door onto the entryway to the house. Artis makes eye contact with me; I advised him that I am an officer with the Sebastian Police Department and in fear that he is still armed, I give him a loud and clear verbal command to place his hands in the air,” the officer said.

According to the report, Artis ignored all verbal commands given by the police. He eventually sat down on a bench and was detained. Police then conducted a sweep of the residence for any other individuals who may have been inside.

Police observed broken items in the living room and blood on the floor in the living room, kitchen area, and bedroom. In addition, there were other multiple areas of the house in disarray, according to the report.

The girlfriend told police she was visiting and that Artis was “doing drugs all day and night.”

“When he woke up on 12/20/20, he drove her to Palm Bay so he could pick up more drugs, even after she advised him not to. When they arrived back at the residence, Artis locked himself in the bathroom. Once he came out, he passed out on the couch,” the affidavit said.

The girlfriend said he woke up hours later and started to become “mean and aggravated” while accusing her of “hiding his drugs,” according to the affidavit.

At this point, she began to walk out of the residence to get away from Artis. The police report said as she was walking away, he allegedly put her into a “chokehold” to the point of her losing consciousness.

“When she regained consciousness, Artis began threatening to kill her. Artis proceeded to arm himself with a steak knife. Artis grabbed [the girlfriend] and started attempting to push her head back to expose her throat. Artis stated that ‘he was going to end my life and then his,'” the girlfriend told police.

During the struggle, Artis placed the knife on her throat as she “plead for him to stop.” While pleading for her life, the girlfriend grabbed the knife’s blade and pushed it off her throat, according to the affidavit.

Artis then proceeded to walk into the bedroom, and she grabbed her phone and snuck outside to hide. The girlfriend stated that she then called 911 and hung up because she knew it would send the police, and she didn’t want him to find her on the phone.

Police observed a cut on one of her fingers, which appeared to be caused by a sharp knife, and blood on her pants.

The girlfriend then told police that Artis had been crushing and sniffing Xanax and Dilaudid. She was then escorted into the home and pointed to a sharp knife used by Artis.

Police then made contact with Artis, who wanted to speak about the incident. He stated there was no physical altercation inside the residence and that his girlfriend was going through his phone and became angry after finding a conversation he had with another female.

“Artis stated that he was in the process of breaking up with her and stated that he has messages on his phone where she threatened to get even with him,” the officer said.

Artis gave police permission to search for the messages on his phone. As officers were retrieving the phone, they observed powder on the dresser from crushed blue pills.

“I located the conversation between him and [the girlfriend]. I read multiple text messages that did not support his statement; notably [the girlfriend] appeared to be advising him, she hopes that he is well and that he needs to get some help,” the officer said.

However, Artis told police he does not do drugs.

“While speaking with Artis, he displayed a wide range of unpredictable emotional behavior. He was unable to sit still, unable to maintain one talking topic, would become verbally aggressive, then quickly switch to being depressed, and was sweating. I also observed a dark color substance in some mucus that was exiting his nose. All are signs that I know through my training and experience are indicative of narcotics use,” the officer said.

Artis was charged with attempted second-degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and resisting arrest.

A search of his person was conducted, and officers located a clear plastic baggie in his wallet.

“The baggie contained what appeared to be a broken blue pill similar to the dust on his dresser and similar to the color of the mucus in his nose,” the officer said.

Artis was transported to the Indian River County Jail, where he is being held on a $116,000 bond.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland and raised in Jupiter, Florida. Andy has been a radio & TV personality since the 1980s. He has worked for WLIZ, WFLX-FOX 29, WIRK, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and WJNO to name a few. After spending 7 years in Atlanta, Georgia during the 1990s, Andy returned to Florida and settled in the small town of Sebastian in 2000. In 2005, he returned to the broadcasting news sector and eventually joined our news team in 2016 as editor in chief. Andy's family has lived in Sebastian for more than 45 years.