Man Bulldozes Home While Wife Runs Errands
Surprise, honey!
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2015 8:18 AM CST
Stock image of a bulldozer at another house.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Picture this: You've just stepped out of your New York home for a bit to run errands. You return to find the home completely demolished ... by your own husband. That's what happened to Diane Andryshak on Monday, News 12 reports. Her husband, James Rhein, 48, rented a bulldozer while she was out and tore the Middletown house down, along with everything inside it; as the Times Herald-Record notes, the only thing that wasn't razed is part of the front steps. He says the 840-square-foot house was falling apart and needed to come down, NBC New York reports, but his wife had no idea of his plans. When she got home, says a neighbor, "She was in the middle of the road screaming, her house, what happened to her house?" Andryshak, who is the legal owner of the house, says they were doing repairs on it and weren't staying there at the time, but she has no idea why her husband of nine years decided it had to come down.

Rhein was arrested mid-raze, as he was depositing debris into Dumpsters—debris including all his wife's clothes and medications, appliances, etc., a neighbor tells CBS New York—and is facing a felony criminal mischief charge. He says he attempted to get a permit for the demolition but couldn't since the relevant office was closed Monday—a federal holiday. He also says he tried to call his wife before starting the project, but she didn't answer. (The electric, water, and gas lines to the house were shut off, though that's reportedly only because officials made emergency calls to avoid an explosion.) And no, in case you were wondering, Andryshak says the couple was not experiencing marital problems. According to Rhein, his wife has already gotten "over it," but she tells ABC 7, "I'm in shock, still I'm in shock." (Police say this woman had her neighbors' home bulldozed.)