Diane Andryshak arrived home on Monday to find that her husband, James Rhein, had tore down the place, with all of her belongings still it.
“None of my belongings were taken out. Everything was in the house. I’m in shock, still I’m in shock,” she told ABC7News .
Diane is the legal owner of the property, but that did not stop her partner taking it upon himself to raze the Middletown home to the ground. Rhein had been with his wife for nine years before deciding to rent an excavator on Monday morning to carry out the demolition.
Neighbours told the press that the couple were in the middle of renovating the property and struggled to explain what could have caused the surprise decision.
“I asked him just kidding around if he was going to knock down the house with a bulldozer, and he said, ‘Yeah.’ I thought he was kidding. So I went to work and when I came back this is what we found,” one resident commented.
Rhein reportedly told the police that his home on Woodland Avenue was in disrepair, with the foundation crumbling so badly that it could not be repaired. He failed to get a permit to knock down the building, however, although he allegedly said that he tried to do so on Monday but the office was closed due to the federal holiday.
“So I took it down, that’s it,” he told WNBC .
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know anything,” his shocked wife commented. “I know that when I got here he was already down at the police station. We were not fighting, we were not arguing.”
Rhein was charged with criminal mischief for hiring the excavator and demolishing the property without a permit. He has been released on $300 bail.
“Now, she’s over it,” he added. “We’re good. I’m a good husband, what can I tell you?”