A Bridgeport, Connecticut woman who was easily elected to the state legislature last month after being charged in a hit-and-run car accident in August has been charged with breach of peace, reportedly for slapping her boyfriend.
Newly elected state representative Christina Ayala (D), a 29 year-old single mother, allegedly attempted to talk police out of arresting her on domestic violence charges Monday evening. According to the police report, Ayala “said that she did not want us involved because of who she was.”
Ayala’s arrest has also raised questions about whether she resides in the district she represents. Though she was elected to represent the 128th District seat, the address to which police were called due to the domestic incident is not in that district. During her campaign, Ayala said that her address was a residence in the city’s East Side. However, public utility and cell phone records indicate that she uses the address to which police were called as her residence.
The police report indicates that, upon arrival to the scene, officers found Ayala’s boyfriend, Pedro Rodriguez-Ortiz, standing on the front porch in an intoxicated state. When police asked who was inside the house, Rodriguez-Ortiz stated, “My girlfriend, state representative Ayala.”
Ayala reportedly told police everything was fine and that she had not called for them. She said that Rodriguez-Ortiz called 911 during their argument over the fact that he had been out drinking and cheating on her. The report states that Rodriguez-Ortiz then began yelling at police officers, saying, “You’re a politician and you aren’t going to do (expletive).” As he became increasingly argumentative, police arrested him.
The police indicated that Ayala herself first denied slapping her boyfriend but then admitted that she had done so.
Two weeks ago, Ayala was in court to face charges of evading responsibility, failure to obey a traffic signal, and failure to renew her vehicle’s registration in connection with a hit-and-run car accident that occurred in August.
During her most recent court appearance, Ayala chewed gum as the judge reviewed the restrictions of the protective order he was placing upon her, including that she would no longer be able to reside with Rodriguez-Ortiz.
As she hurriedly left the courtroom, Ayala responded, “No comment, sir,” to a reporter who asked whether she intended to resign her state House seat.
The mayor of Bridgeport, Bill Finch, responded to a question about Ayala’s most recent arrest with the comment, “She was arrested again? For what?”
Finch was then asked if Ayala’s recent legal problems would compromise her ability to effectively represent his city in Hartford. Finch replied, “What I’ll say about that is domestic violence is a very serious problem in the city. Obviously, we’re at the early stages of an incident. It’s going to have to be investigated. I would urge the police to investigate it thoroughly and bring guilty parties to justice.”
Rep. Jack Hennessy, a member of Bridgeport’s legislative delegation, said that he is uncomfortable with Ayala’s arrests. “This is an embarrassment and I really do question her judgment,” Hennessy said. He added, however, that city chairman Mario Testa would likely downplay the arrests. “It just seems that the bar is very low to have a chairman who basically says, ‘Hey, if you haven’t killed anybody, what’s the big deal?’ and sweeps everything under the rug,” Hennessy said.
Ayala now occupies the state House seat vacated by her cousin, Andres Ayala, who was elected to the state Senate. Her father, Alberto “Tito” Ayala, is a former city councilman. Her mother, Santa Ayala, is the Democratic registrar of voters in Bridgeport.
Photo: video screencap, WTNH