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Man accused of getting teen to vandalize house with a BB gun

Austin J. Ayers

A Connoquenessing Township man is accused of soliciting a teenage boy to fire a BB gun into a house in Jefferson Township occupied by four people, including two children.

The defendant, 19-year-old Austin J. Ayers, later posted on his Facebook page that he had “filled” the home’s windows with BBs. No one was injured in the early Friday morning vandalism.

Troopers today showed up at Ayers’ home on Prospect Road where they arrested him on a pair of felonies and other charges. He was placed in the Butler County Prison on $50,000 bail but has since bonded out.

A call shortly after midnight Friday morning for a reported projectile hitting the window sent investigators to the Neupert Road home of Heidi Sloan and Justin Castilyn, police said. Two children, both 5, were also there.

They discovered a hole in the bedroom window caused by “a metal BB,” according to court documents.

Later that day, police said, Ayers posted a Facebook comment saying “he had filled the victims’ windows full of BBs.”

Troopers about 12:30 a.m. Saturday went to the defendant’s house where they found him wearing a holster for a Taser, police said. He admitted possessing the device, which is illegal in Pennsylvania.

Police said they also found a 17-year-old boy, who they did not identify.

The boy, documents said, admitted shooting at the house with a BB gun. He turned over the suspected gun used in the incident.

The teen said Ayers gave him the gun late Thursday night and told him “just do it,” according to a police  affidavit, meaning to vandalize the house.

District Judge Sue Haggerty arraigned Ayers on felony charges of conspiracy to commit the crimes of discharging a firearm into an occupied structure and reckless endangerment.

Additionally, he is charged with two misdemeanors — illegal possession of an electric or electronic incapacitation device and conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment.

It was not immediately known if the boy is facing juvenile charges in the case.

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