WARSAW — A Brownsburg man was arrested for falsely reporting a drowning in North Webster and claiming he was an FBI agent while handcuffing minors together.
Blake David Ayers, 21, 373 Longview Bend, Brownsburg, was arrested on Sept. 12 for impersonation of a public service, a level 6 felony and false informing, a class A misdemeanor.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on July 29 an officer with the North Webster Police Department responded to a possible drowning in Webster Lake. The officer spoke with Ayers, who advised that he was a former water rescue and would dive if needed. Ayers said that he heard a yell and observed a male go under the water and fail to reappear. The officer observed handcuffs beside Ayers and took those into his possession.
The officer requested assistance from the North Webster Fire Department, North Webster EMS, Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department and their dive team, Warsaw Police Department’s dive team and conservation officers. Officers and volunteers began searching the area for the drowned person. After several hours of searching, no victim was located and the search was called off.
An officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s department spoke with Ayers and discovered that his cousin had drowned in front of him several years ago. It was concluded that Ayers had been having a flashback of the event and therefore had lied about witnesses a drowning.
The North Webster Police Officer then spoke with two witnesses who stated that Ayers had been identifying himself as an FBI agent on a mission earlier in the day.
The officer located three minors who stated that Ayers told them he was an FBI agent on a mission to catch a subject wanted in 25 states. With consent, Ayers handcuffed two of the minors together and made them solemnly swear not to tell anyone the story. The officer obtained a photograph of the minors handcuffed together.
The officer searched Ayers’ vehicle and found an earpiece, a two-way radio and a zip tie.
Another witness spoke to the officer who advised that the minors had told her that there was an FBI agent nearby. The witness was skeptical and drove down to the area. Ayers approached her, identified himself as an FBI agent and told her she needed to clear the area. The woman then asked for identification and Ayers took off running.
The woman drove back to the area later and Ayers approached her again. This time he advised that she needed to clear the area so he could set up a perimeter for a possible drowning.
Ayers was arrested on a warrant and is currently being held at the Kosciusko County Jail with a $10,250 surety and cash bond.