A judge has set bail at $1 million for a man accused of damaging four homes with a bulldozer during a rampage in Washington state over a property line dispute.
The Clallam County Police Department told ABC News that 51 year-old Barry Swegle jumped onto his large bulldozer last Friday and rammed into four homes, causing extensive damage to two buildings. Swegle allegedly destroyed a boat, truck and knocked over a power pole, causing a power, cable and Internet outage to a few thousand in the surrounding area.
“I’m yelling, ‘What are you doing? He looked right at me. He was just blank faced. That was it. He didn’t care,” a witness to the bulldozing, Bobee Ward, told ABC News affiliate KOMO.
Police said they’d never seen anything like Swegle’s bulldozing rampage.
“We have the usual customary neighborhood disputes, but nothing like this where someone takes a bulldozer and causes extensive damages,” Clallam County Police Under-sheriff Ron Peregrin said.
Peregrin said the dispute was likely over a fence that Swegle’s neighbor Dan Davis built on the property line next to Swegle’s property. The fence created a barrier for Swegle to drive his large equipment and turn it around, the police said.
“That created some heartburn there and finally he just boiled over and took the fence and the house and everything,” Peregrin said.
KOMO spoke with neighbor Barbara Porter, whose home received damage when another home crashed into hers after it was knocked off its foundation. Porter said the dispute had gone on for so long, she wasn’t surprised.
“I heard him coming and thought, ‘Oh, no, Barry’s going to do something bad.’ I knew he was,” Porter said.
Swegle could not be reached by ABC News. The Clallam County Courthouse told ABC News that Swegle refused a public defender and was seeking his own counsel. Swegle’s next court appearance will be Wednesday at 1 p.m., where formal charges will be filed.
On Monday, Swegle went before a superior judge who said Swegle’s “bizarre behavior with the bulldozer” poses a threat to public safety.