By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News
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Barry A. Swegle, 51, allegedly made verbal threats to kill a man during a roadside dispute near the Port Angeles Boat Haven on Oct. 29, 2010.
Two months earlier, Clallam County sheriff's deputies discovered a bag of meth in Swegle's right front pocket as he was being arrested for investigation of stalking. He was never charged with stalking.
The verbal threat and drug charges were merged into one case, to which Swegle pleaded guilty in March 2011. He was ordered to serve 192 hours of community service in lieu of 24 days in jail.
Bench warrants were issued in 2010 and 2011 when Swegle failed to appear in court for hearings in the drug and threat cases.
Port Angeles police said Swegle was following William Hollingsworth as they drove westbound on Marine Drive when Hollingsworth pulled over and got out of his truck.
Swegle parked his vehicle, approached the man with his fists clenched and told Hollingsworth that he “knew what he did and he was going to kill him,” according to the certification for probable cause filed in court.
Hollingsworth told city police that Swegle made the statement three times before backing down.
Police said Hollingsworth remained at his truck and “did not have any idea what Swegle was upset about.”
Hollingsworth told police he had moved his trailer off Swegle's property five months prior because Swegle “was acting very strangely.”
— Rob Ollikainen, Peninsula Daily News
The estimated 10-minute rampage, allegedly induced by a long-simmering property-line dispute, damaged four homes, a pickup truck, a boat and multiple sheds and other outbuildings, in addition to toppling a Clallam County Public Utility District power pole, knocking out power to an estimated thousands at about noon Friday.
“It's just unbelievable,” said 74-year-old Dan Davis, whose two houses were torn up.
Authorities said Davis' neighbor, Barry Alan Swegle — who lived on North Davis Street — did the damage because he was angry with his neighbors, especially Davis.
Swegle, 51, remained in the Clallam County jail with no bond set Saturday.
He was booked Friday for investigation of two counts of first-degree assault and six counts of first-degree malicious mischief, a class B felony.
Ron Cameron, chief criminal deputy with the Clallam County Sheriff's Office, said Swegle likely will make his first appearance in Superior Court on Monday.
Sheriff's deputies are continuing to sift through pages of witnesses statements and interviews to iron out exactly what happened in the neighborhood just east of Port Angeles.
Gales Addition is located between U.S. Highway 101 and Pioneer Road to the north, said Cameron, adding that total damage estimates have not been determined.
The power pole alone, which was replaced Friday night, cost $30,000, he said.
“I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say several hundred thousands of dollars [of total damage was done],” Cameron said.
Power had been restored to all electrical customers by 1 a.m. Saturday, PUD spokesman Michael Howe said.
Electricity had been cut to thousands of people between Port Angeles and Sequim. All except 200 people in the Gales Addition were back on the grid by Friday afternoon.
“Everything went smoothly. It was just a lot of dang work,” Howe said Saturday.
“We hope this never happens again.”
With the power pole righted, however, the work for people in the neighborhood was just beginning.
Davis, wife Mary and other family members walked a piece of Davis' property early Saturday afternoon, recovering Davis' tools so they didn't “get legs and walk off,” as he put it.
The lot once held the manufactured home Davis was completing with the intention of renting it.
Davis said that on Friday afternoon, he was working on a wooden deck leading up to the front door of the home when Swegle allegedly used his skidder, a type of logging bulldozer, to plow the manufactured home off its foundation and into the home that Davis' neighbor Barbara Porter, 72, owns with her husband, James.
“I heard Barry take off with [the skidder],” said Porter, a 45-year resident of the neighborhood who said Swegle was a longtime resident of the neighborhood.
“I knew he was out to do some damage.”
A Barry Swegle logging company is listed as having been founded in 1997. The phone number has been disconnected.
Swegle, who lived just north of Davis and Porter, also allegedly rolled his skidder over Davis' Ford F-250 pickup truck three times before taking out the power pole and heading east.
Neither Porter nor Davis could estimate Saturday the damage done to their homes, though Porter said her house sustained no interior damage.
“I thought [Swegle] was going to push mine over, too,” said Porter, who said she has known Swegle since he was 12.
Davis' manufactured home was effectively destroyed.
Davis said he will have to wait until Monday to see what can be done with the home he and his wife shared — whether it can be fixed or whether it needs to be demolished.
The home was assessed at $138,838, according to the Clallam County Assessor's Office.
Davis has insurance on both structures, he said.
Keith Haynes, who lives near the damaged homes, said Friday that Swegle “just went nuts.”
According to multiple witness accounts, after pushing the manufactured home off its foundation, Swegle allegedly headed east along Pioneer Road, traveling through fence lines and backyards to carve a hole in 45-year-old Alaric Bergeson's home before turning north and going through more fences toward the home Davis shared with his wife.
“He just took out [the house] and destroyed some of my favorite toys,” Bergeson said, gesturing to a trail of damaged tools and a destroyed off-road vehicle left in the bulldozer's wake.
The bulldozer rumbled north toward his home, said Davis, who called his wife, also 74, on his cellphone and told her to get out of the place after she called back.
Davis said Swegle plowed through the eastern section of his home.
Swegle continued north, witnesses said, allegedly also demolishing Davis' home office, boat garage and boat, a shed and a tractor before continuing north and being apprehended without incident by sheriff's deputies and other law enforcement officers on an undeveloped piece of property.
Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at email@example.com.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen also contributed to this report.