Man held on $1 million bail after bulldozer rampage

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - A judge has set bail at $1 million for a man accused of destroying three homes with a bulldozer during a rampage on Washington's Olympic Peninsula.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that Clallam County Superior Court Judge Erik Rohrer scheduled a hearing Wednesday during which formal charges are expected to be filed against 51-year-old Barry Swegle.

Swegle was arrested Friday for investigation of assault and malicious mischief after neighbors told police he climbed aboard a bulldozer and took out the homes, crushed a pickup truck and knocked down a utility pole, cutting power to thousands. No injuries were reported.

Investigators say he was apparently motivated by a long-running property-line dispute.

Barbara Porter wasn't the neighbor police say Swegle was going after, but a home he hit and knocked off its foundation crashed right into hers.

She said Swegle and his neighbor had been fighting for so long that something was bound to happen.

"I heard him coming and thought, 'oh, no, Barry's going to do something bad. I knew he was," Porter said.

Outside of the courthouse on Monday, friends of Swegle came to his defense.

"Barry, he's a good guy, but if you get him riled up, he gets riled up," said Bill Swagerty, who said he's been friends with Swegle for 15 years. "He shouldn't have done that. He should've used other methods than using his CAT."

Swegle told the judge Monday that he would try to hire his own lawyer.