July 16, 2019
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Clinton man accused of breaking windows at Ayla’s home

Alex Barber | BDN
Alex Barber | BDN
The Violette Avenue home in Waterville where Ayla Reynolds went missing.

WATERVILLE, Maine — A Clinton man has been charged with breaking several windows earlier this month at the Violette Avenue residence where toddler Ayla Reynolds was reported missing in December, police said Tuesday.

Jeremy Hanson, 19, was charged with one count of criminal mischief in connection with the incident Feb. 3 at the home of the missing girl’s grandmother, Phoebe DiPietro, at 29 Violette Ave.

During an interview at the Waterville police station on Monday night, police said he confessed and was then summoned for criminal mischief and violation of conditions of release. The second charge stems from the fact that when Hanson broke the windows, he was out on bail from an unrelated state police case in which he was charged with driving to endanger, criminal mischief and reckless conduct with a weapon, according to a press release from the Waterville Police Department.

Waterville police said it is unclear whether Hanson has any connection to the residents of the home he allegedly vandalized.

Police said Hanson is scheduled to appear May 8 in Waterville District Court unless he is arraigned earlier. He was not placed into custody.

Ayla Reynolds, daughter of Justin DiPietro and Trista Reynolds, was 20 months old when she was reported missing from the Violette Avenue home on Dec. 17. DiPietro, who lives at the residence with his mother, Phoebe, was not at the home during the window-smashing incident. Justin’s sister, Elisha DiPietro, and her daughter, 19-month-old Gabrielle, were there.

Phoebe DiPietro called police at 11:15 p.m. Feb. 3 to report someone smashing two windows at the residence.

When police arrived, they found no thrown objects. Instead, police believed a bat or a similar weapon was used in the crime, Waterville Police Chief Joseph Massey said during a press conference on Feb. 4.

“The force not only broke the window, it broke the screen. It broke a blind behind the window and it sent glass flying throughout the kitchen area onto the floor, onto the counter and onto a highchair that belonged to the grandchild,” Massey said.

Massey described the crime as “cowardly” during the press conference.

“Breaking the windows with that much force and sending glass flying all over the place, waking up people at that hour of the night, waking a small child, exposing them to the cold and possible injury. I think that’s kind of cowardly,” he said.

Ayla Reynolds remains missing. State police and the Maine Wardens Service used dive teams to search the Kennebec River and Messalonskee Steam on Feb. 3 but found nothing related to the toddler.

Most recently, Ayla’s uncle, Lance DiPietro, was summoned for assault on Feb. 6.

Waterville Police Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said Lance DiPietro assaulted Justin Linnell in Waterville after Linnell shouted something to him as Lance and Justin DiPietro drove by him.

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