By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The Clallam County Sheriff's Office said Barry A. Swegle, 51, trampled homes, outbuildings a Ford truck, a riding lawn mower and other property in a 10-minute rampage fueled by an ongoing dispute with his neighbors.
News and photos of the incident, which County Commissioner Jim McEntire described at a meeting Monday as “unreal,” was reported throughout North America and Europe.
Sheila Roark Miller, who as the elected community development director for Clallam County is the land-use director, fire marshal and building official, inspected the damage and declared three of the houses uninhabitable, she said Monday.
A fourth house with a concrete foundation was damaged but not structurally compromised.
The homes that Roark Miller declared unsafe are located at 309 N. Baker St., 2337 E. Pioneer Road and 2325 E. Ryan Drive.
Gales Addition is a large subdivision in unincorporated area east of the Port Angeles city limit.
County Assessor Pam Rushton said the 2012 assessed values of the homes on Pioneer Road and Ryan Drive were $15,318 and $111,838, respectively.
The value of the new double-wide manufactured home on Baker Street, which has an active building permit but no 2012 assessment, was $15,512, Roark Miller said.
“Usually, insurance will get involved to try to determine what the value of the property was, and the contents,” she said.
Dan Davis, who owns the properties on Baker Street and Ryan Drive, said Monday that his insurance company sent a representative to inspect the damage.
“They tell me I have insurance,” he said.
Davis and his wife, Mary, are staying at their son's home in the Port Angeles area. The insurance company is trying to find the couple a more permanent place to live, Dan Davis said.
Roark Miller told the three county commissioners in a Monday briefing that two manufactured homes and one small star-framed house were destroyed.
The unoccupied manufactured home on Baker Street was pushed off its “block and tie-down” foundation and driven into the side of a single-wide unit, Roark Miller said.
A small shed was crushed between them and collapsed.
“And there was a shed behind the single-wide that was tipped on its edge,” said Roark Miller, who compared the damage to that of a major storm.
“There were Cat [Caterpillar-brand] tracks across the back of the single-wide lot, and tracks in the back of the next lot.”
The walls of the small white house at 2337 E. Pioneer Road were broken apart by Swegle's bulldozer, Roark Miller said.
“Its contents were strewn across the backyard,” she said.
“Leading to it, this equipment had flattened a riding lawn mower. It had pushed it into the ground.”
“You could actually see chunks of the double-wide throughout different locations,” Roark Miller added.
“Chunks of that double-wide were actually back at the [wood-frame] house.”
The bulldozer that Swegle was driving also knocked over a power pole, causing an outage that affected thousands of Clallam County Public Utility District customers stretching from Gales Addition to Sequim.
The Sheriff's Office estimated the value of the utility pole at $50,000.
Also crushed in the rampage was a $15,000 Ford F-250 pickup truck.
A $10,000 tractor and a $5,000 chain-link fence also were destroyed in the attack, according to the arrest narrative.
“It was quite a scene,” Roark Miller said.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.