Authorities have arrested a man who they say hit four Clallam County homes, a truck and a power pole with a bulldozer shortly after noon on Friday.
The homes sustained substantial damage, but nobody was hurt, said Jim Borte of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
The incident occurred in a subdivision near Highway 101 and North Baker Street, just east of Port Angeles.
Borte identified the suspect as Barry Swegle, 51, of Port Angeles. Swegle was booked into the Clallam County Jail for investigation of malicious mischief.
Borte said Swegle was “highly agitated” and that “apparently there appears to be an ongoing dispute with some of his neighbors.”
Jesse Major, a 19-year-old student who said his grandmother lives in one of the damaged homes, said Swegle is known in the neighborhood because he sometimes digs seemingly random holes with a bulldozer late at night.
Major, who attends Pacific Lutheran University, said his grandmother wasn’t hurt in the incident.
“Of course she was scared,” Major said. “Something was being pushed into her house.”
Borte said he knew of no construction going on nearby which would have been using a bulldozer. He said the machine was an International Harvester TD-25, similar to a Caterpillar D-9.
Police have had a difficult time investigating because of downed power lines in the area.
Thousands of homes were without power in an area ranging from east Port Angeles to Sequim, said Clallam County Public Utility spokesman Mike Howe.
He said power was being restored, but that some homes could be without power for 10 to 12 hours.
Howe said the 70-foot or so power poll taken down by the bulldozer ripped up a major power line, which is why so many homes were affected.
The power isn’t expected to be restored until 9 p.m., Borte said.
Seattle Times staff reporter Erik Lacitis contributed to this report.