Ayla Reynolds' uncle facing charges

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February 7, 2012, 6:13 am

(NECN: Jennifer Eagan) - Another twist in the case for a missing Maine toddler has unfolded, after her uncle was arrested on assault charges.

Lance DiPietro is accused of kicking another man in the face. He allegedly confronted the father of Ayla's cousin on the street.

Lance DiPietro said Justin Linnell had been talking about the DiPietro family, police said. Linnell ended up in the hospital after the reported fight.

The DiPietro family is in the spotlight, as the Waterville, Maine community and police have become increasingly skeptical of their story about toddler Ayla Reynolds disappearance.

As the search continues, tension is mounting within the family. Police have cast doubt on Ayla's father's story that she was abducted from his home in the middle of the night.

More recently, Justin DiPietro's home was vandalized. Someone reportedly broke a window.

DiPietro's brother, Lance, faces assault charges. The two were reportedly driving in Justin's SUV on Sunday, when they spotted Justin Linnell walking along College Avenue in Waterville.

The two reportedly pulled over. Lance is accused of getting out of the car with a bat, confronting and kicking Linnell in the face. Justin allegedly drove the SUV away from the scene, but he is not facing any charges.

Linnell was not seriously injured.

Lance DiPietro is due in court in April.

Tags: maine, Waterville, Ayla Reynolds, missing toddler, Trista Reynolds, Justin DiPietro, Lance DiPietro
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