Brevard duo accused of waterboarding man, force-feeding him dog food

2 charged with attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping

Left to right: John Faulk, 27, and Steven Erickson, 24, charged with attempted first-degree murder and kidnapping.

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Accusations of stolen cocaine escalated into kidnapping and torture over the weekend in Titusville, according to police reports. 

Two men were arrested and charged with attempted murder and kidnapping. Police said the two beat and waterboarded a man after suspecting his friend had stolen cocaine from them Saturday, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Police were called about 12:30 a.m. Sunday when a battered man was admitted to the hospital, according to arrest reports. He had been pistol-whipped, waterboarded and force-fed dog food. 

John Faulk, 27, of Titusville, and Steven Erickson, 24, of Cocoa, were charged with attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping and inflicting harm on the person, robbery with a firearm and second-degree grand theft.

After a long day of drinking and using cocaine, the men believed their victim's friend had stolen cocaine from them before leaving to get food, police said. So they restrained the man's hands with tape and covered his nose and mouth with cloth before pouring water over his face, telling him to get his friend to return the cocaine or they would kill him. 

They used table legs and a gun to beat him before uncovering his mouth to feed him dog food, police reported. 

The torture lasted about 45 minutes before the man escaped to a nearby friend's house and then went to the hospital. Police said the suspects also stole the man's cell phone and over $800, Florida Today reported.

After police were called, officers responded to a Beverly Street home where gunshots from inside the residence prompted a SWAT response as well, Titusville police said.

“The SWAT team responded with tactical measures and two suspects were taken into custody,” according to a statement from Amy Matthews, spokeswoman for the Titusville Police Department.

Matthews did not say what tactical measures were used when arresting Faulk and Erickson at the home. 

No further information was available about the incidents Monday afternoon. The case remains an ongoing investigation. 

Faulk is being held at the Brevard County Jail Complex in lieu of $115,000 bond. Erickson is being held in lieu of $122,000 bond.