YORKTOWN, Ind. — A Yorktown police officer who’s suspended without pay for failing to properly investigate a crime involving one brother became involved in another crime involving a different brother.
Last month, Officer Blake Barnard was suspended without pay for six months after being accused of failing to do any paperwork or interview victims in a case involving his brother, Brayden Barnard.
The incident involved a burglary case from November 2021 in which Barnard suspected his brother was responsible. Barnard, according to the town manager, didn’t take his brother into custody and told a junior officer there would be no need for paperwork or charging information.
The incident came to light after victims of the burglary and witnesses contacted police to complain about how the matter had been handled. Brayden Barnard had allegedly damaged windows and a door during the incident; witnesses believed Officer Barnard’s involvement was a clear conflict of interest.
Indiana State Police then investigated. Brayden Barnard was later charged with residential entry. While the town manager recommended termination, the council voted 5-1 for a six-month suspension of Blake Barnard on March 29.
On March 30—one day after the council’s vote—Blake Barnard was embroiled in another situation involving one of his brothers.
Police were dispatched to the 7900 block of West Smith Street around 3:30 p.m. after residents reported a shirtless man acting strangely in the area. The man was later identified as 41-year-old Brandon Barnard.
The responding officer discovered “off-duty Yorktown police officer” Blake Barnard detaining his brother. Brandon Barnard wouldn’t sit still and “was not making sense with his words,” according to court documents. He was taken to IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital for evaluation.
Brandon Barnard was in possession of a driver’s license belonging to Blake Barnard, police said. Investigators discovered Brandon Barnard had taken a Jeep parked outside his brother’s Yorktown home without permission. Days earlier, he’d stolen a weed eater from a neighbor’s home and sold it to a pawn shop; he’d identified himself as Blake Barnard when doing so, investigators said.
Brandon Barnard had also ingested what was believed to be heroin inside his brother’s home. Blake Barnard and his wife found remnants of the drug along with a syringe and other drug paraphernalia in their bathroom. The substance later tested positive for fentanyl, police said.
Blake Barnard’s wife told police Brandon had a “heroin problem” and was “messed up as always” when he’d stopped by their home earlier in the day.
Blake Barnard had gone out looking for his brother after making the discovery, leading to the investigation.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office took over the case due to the conflict of interest involving Barnard’s brother. Investigators said Blake Barnard and his wife “fully cooperated” with the investigation.
Brandon Barnard is charged with forgery, identity deception, possession of a narcotic drug, conversion, theft and public intoxication.