Anger Over Prison Release for Man Who Bulldozed Neighborhood

By ABC News

Aug 19, 2014 10:41am

By HARRY PHILLIPS and ALEXA VALIENTE

A man who went on a bulldozing rampage in his neighborhood after a dispute with a neighbor will soon be released from prison, while his former neighbors are still dealing with the wreckage he left behind.

Barry Swegle, 51, of Port Angeles, Washington, pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree malicious mischief and three counts of reckless endangerment three months ago for his bulldozer attack on his neighborhood last year. Swegle was sentenced to 29 months in state prison.

With time served and time off for good behavior, he could be released as early as next month, which his former neighbor Dan Davis is not happy about.

“Our justice stinks,” Davis told “20/20.”

On May 10, 2013, after a decade-long dispute over a property line with Davis, Swegle went on a neighborhood rampage with a 90,000-pound bulldozer, damaging a pick-up truck, a boat, several surrounding power lines, and four homes, including Davis’, according to police reports — a total of $300,000 worth of damage. Prior to his sentencing, Swegle spent time in a psychiatric hospital and jail.

The ruined homes were replaced, and the wreckage was removed. However, Davis said his home had to be re-built from the foundation up and is still not ready for him and his wife to move into.

“My wife is 76 years old. I’ll be 76 in September, and here that butthead is getting his meals cooked, his beds made, his clothes washed,” Davis said.

“I think the system’s kind of screwy,” Barb Porter, whose home was also damaged by the bulldozer, told “20/20.” “I think he should be struggling. We should be sitting on the gravy train like he is.”

Still, a restraining order will keep Swegle from returning to his home for at least 10 years.

“We feel that we’ve been incarcerated longer than that man has for the sentence that he got for the damage he’s done to us,” Davis said. “It’s ridiculous.”

SHOWS:
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus