Washington Man Arrested for Attacking Homes with Bulldozer

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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A man has been arrested for using a bulldozer to damage four homes, flatten a truck and knock out power to thousands in Port Angeles, Wash.

On Friday afternoon, Barry Alan Swegle, 51, was allegedly “irate with neighbors” when he hopped on a bulldozer and attacked four homes, said the Clallam County Sheriff’s office.

Swegle had a long-standing dispute with neighbors.

“We’ve been waiting. I knew he was going to do it someday,” said Barbara Porter told King 5 News.

While it is unclear exactly what the property dispute is about, said Jim Borte of the Clallam County Sheriff’s office, his neighbors claim they were accustomed to erratic behavior from Swegle. Borte said no one was hurt in the attack.

Most neighbors were able to get out safely when Swegle attacked her home. His main target was an unfinished home that was unoccupied.

Swegle allegedly damaged two homes, flattened the property-owner’s truck like a pancake, hit a third home and then went after the property-owner’s house. At one point Swegle knocked down a 70-foot electrical poll destroying a major power line.

Porter barely got out of her home before Swegle crushed the bedroom she was inside. Swegle then surrendered to police.

Jesse Major, whose grandmother lives in one of the houses damaged, said Swegle is known for digging random holes in the neighborhood late at night using his bulldozer.

His neighbors appear to be handling the destruction surprisingly well.

“I just painted this house … what a waste,” said one man.

Porter said a friend wanted to take her for coffee, but she would really rather have a drink.

“Mom, you don’t drink,” her daughter said.

“Yeah, but I’m going to start,” she laughed.

Swegle was charged with first-degree malicious mischief, a class B felony.

Police had difficulty investigating the crime because the incident knocked out power. Homes from east Port Angeles to Sequim lost power and some may not have it restored for 10 to 12 hours.

Sources: Seattle Times,