Two Baton Rouge police officers have been arrested in Livingston Parish this week in separate and unrelated incidents and placed on leave — and one of them is accused of indecent behavior with a juvenile.
Police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said the officers are Blake Bryant, who recently joined the department but had previous law enforcement experience, and Jeremy Kirst, who has been a Baton Rouge cop for 15 years.
Bryant, 24, was arrested on one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile after deputies found evidence he had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl, according to the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office.
"It was determined the two met in August of 2019," Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said in a statement Tuesday. "The two used a social networking app to communicate. At this time, we have evidence to prove indecent behavior. Our investigation continues."
Officials didn't disclose the victim's age.
Bryant had started working for Baton Rouge Police after completing a recent POST academy for applicants with prior law enforcement experience. He previously served with the Walker Police Department before leaving for BRPD in the fall, officials said.
Kirst, 36, was arrested on one count of stalking following three disturbance calls over the past few months involving his estranged wife, Ard said. The calls spanned from September to this month.
Ard said nothing physical was reported in September, only an argument. But, in December, Kirst was warned to stop contacting or harassing the woman.
When deputies were called again last week, Kirst refused to leave and had blocked the driveway with his vehicle, Ard said. That prompted Kirst's arrest.
An attorney for Kirst declined to comment when reached Tuesday afternoon, saying the case is still in the early stages.
Court records show Kirst also has a previous DWI arrest in East Baton Rouge. He was booked into jail in 2016 after running a red light and showing signs of intoxication, but the outcome of the case wasn't immediately clear.
Both officers were placed on administrative leave Monday evening pending the results of internal investigations, according to the Baton Rouge Police Department.
Bryant had posted bond and been released from jail as of Tuesday afternoon, while Kirst remained behind bars.