BULLDOZER BERSERKER!

Published on: June 7, 2013
NationalEnquirer.com

IN a bizarre rampage, a Wash­ington man used his bulldozer to demolish four homes, crush a pickup truck and knock down a utility pole, leaving thousands without power.

A fuming Barry Swegle apparently flew into a rage over a long-running dispute with a neighbor in Port An­geles, authorities say, and wreaked $300,000 worth of havoc.

“One house was actually taken off its foundation and basically demol­ished,” said Clallam County Sheriff ’s spokesman Jim Borte.

“If anybody had been in that house, I don’t think they would have survived. He also struck three other homes and a garage, and ran over a pickup truck. It’s completely totaled as well.”

Neighbor Keith Haynes, a former law enforcement officer, added: “It was like a war zone.”

Swegle, 51, runs a small business that’s done work in logging, trucking and land devel­opment, and for months he’d been battling with a neighbor over a chain-link fence that he said blocked him from moving his equipment, according to his brother Jeff Swegle.

“That fence was a  ticking time bomb,” noted Jeff. “I knew Barry was capable of tearing the fence out, but not the homes and the power pole. I didn’t think he was that mad.”

But the May 10 outburst didn’t surprise neighbor Barbara Porter, who said the squabbling had got­ten so nasty that she was expecting Swegle to take action.

“I heard him coming and I thought, Oh, no, Barry’s going to do something bad,” she said.

“I watched out my window and saw him push one mobile home into mine, and then he drove over a pickup truck and smashed it all up. Then he went down to another house and start­ed tearing it up.”

Swegle also flattened a $10,000 riding lawn mower and a $5,000 chain-link fence, authorities say.

Swegle – who authorities say has a long rap sheet that includes burglary, stalking and public in­decency – has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including as­sault with a deadly weapon. He’s being held on $1 million bail and faces life in prison without parole. His trial is set for Aug. 12.

“He’ll lose everything over this,” said his brother. “It’s a hard lesson.”