Barry Alan Swegle was booked into the Clallam County Jail for investigation of malicious mischief following the incident in Port Angeles, 65 miles west of Seattle. A voice mail message left at a phone listing for the 51-year-old was not immediately returned.
Sheriff's spokesman Jim Borte said investigators were told that Swegle and his neighbors had a long-running dispute, but it's not clear over what. The rampage knocked over a utility pole and left a pickup truck destroyed, and the downed power lines were preventing authorities from fully evaluating the damage to the homes.
Borte said the machine was an International Harvester TD-25, similar to a Caterpillar D-9. Investigators were looking into whether the man owned it.
Keith Haynes lives near one of the damaged homes and told the Peninsula Daily News that the man "just went nuts." Haynes said a woman inside one of the homes escaped unharmed.
"He took a skidder and took out two houses," Haynes said. "I mean demolished."
At one point thousands of people were without power, but within a few hours it had been restored to all but 200 customers, said Clallam County Public Utility District spokesman Mike Howe. He said power would remain out to those customers at least through early Saturday morning.
More Northwest Headlines
Officials: Lakewood psychiatric hospital on track to improve safety Tens of thousands still have no electricity in Spokane County Fishing at the heart of Lummi Nation Whatcom County businesses apply to sell medical marijuana Washington Costco pulls chicken salad off shelves due to E. coli 7:31 p.m. Jury finds Umatilla man guilty in Pasco triple-murder case 5:09 p.m. Search for missing hunter in Royal City halted due to weather 4:52 p.m. Jail for man who beat woman for not getting In-N-Out burgers
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.