The 62-year-old Crowley man accused of trying to kidnap a 2-year-old from her front yard on Monday has a long history of mental health issues, police said.
The child’s parents fought off the man and successfully got their daughter away from him. Then they provided law enforcement officials with the make, model and license number of the suspect’s vehicle.
Steven Bayse was arrested Monday evening after leading Tarrant County sheriff’s deputies on a chase that ended when he ran into three patrol cars and nearly hit a deputy, according to the sheriff’s office.
The attempted kidnapping was the latest in a long string of instances where police have been called about Bayse, including multiple welfare checks for mental health-related issues, according to Crowley Police Department records obtained by the Star-Telegram.
Neighbors have complained about him stealing their mail and members of Bayse’s family have made repeated calls to police reporting bizarre behavior.
The Crowley Police Department’s policy on dealing with someone who is showing signs of mental illness is to make sure they don’t harm themselves or others, according to a copy of the policy obtained by the Star-Telegram.
“When an officer has probable cause to believe that an emotionally or mentally unstable person presents an immediate threat of harm to themselves or another person, that person shall be taken into protective custody and transported to a facility where trained professionals can evaluate the emotional and mental status of that person,” the policy states.
In May 2012 a Crowley police officer arrived at Bayse’s home for a welfare check. Bayse, who lived alone, said the chief of police was tampering with his bank accounts and changing the names so he couldn’t access them, according to the report. He said the police department was involved in the scam and kept repeating the same thing over and over again.
The officer took Bayse to John Peter Smith Hospital for observation and treatment, but the hospital released him after a few hours because there were no beds available, the report said. Bayse’s family members told police that Bayse had been in and out of mental hospitals over the past year, and that he wasn’t taking his medication.
In February 2013 police were called to the home of one of Bayse’s neighbors after Bayse allegedly told the neighbor that a 3-year-old girl who was on the premises at the time belonged to him. The neighbor told police that Bayse refused to leave and at one point wanted to enter the house and take the girl, the report said.
Bayse was issued a criminal trespass warning and taken to JPS for emergency observation, according to the report. The officer noted in the report that Bayse had been transported to JPS “several times in the past for various incidents.”
In April 2015, members of Bayse’s family told police he was threatening to kick out the owners of a home that had belonged to him more than 20 years ago so he could remodel it.
The officers advised Bayse to stay away from the residence, according to the report. He said he understood and also told officers he had not been taking his medication.
Later the same day, Bayse’s family called police and said he was screaming that the police had tampered with his computer and “180 were going to die.” Officers returned to Bayse’s home, according to the report.
When questioned by police, Bayse said he didn’t remember saying anything about 180 people dying and told them he didn’t want to hurt himself or anyone else. He seemed coherent, the record said, so the officers didn’t take him for an evaluation.
The officer who made out the report noted that he followed up by contacting the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to report Bayse was not taking his medication. He was assured the report would be sent to the local Adult Protective Services.
In June 2015 police were sent to Bayse’s home again after he told family members “there were dead body parts in his house,” the report said. He also talked about seeing people who weren’t there. Family members said Bayse was still not taking his medication, and officers transported him to JPS for a mental evaluation.
In February of this year, Bayse faced mail theft charges in Crowley, according to Tarrant County court records. The charges were filed April 6 and he was convicted on April 19 of one misdemeanor count. Court records indicate that case was placed on the Enhanced Mental Health Services Docket and Bayse was sentenced to 10 days for stealing mail.
Bayse is currently in the Tarrant County Jail after being arrested Monday and faces charges of kidnapping, assault and evading arrest. His bond was set for $125,000, according to the sheriff’s office.
Paige Ortiz, the mother of the 2-year-old who was nearly kidnapped on Monday, said she can’t understand why something wasn’t done about Bayse before.
“It took my child nearly being kidnapped, my story going viral and people potentially calling us bad parents for people to see that this man is a genuine danger,” Ortiz told the Star-Telegram.
Bayse’s family members who spoke to KXAS-TV on the condition of anonymity said they “want him to pay the price for what he’s done,” but hope he gets help while in jail.