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“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” warned the Apostle Paul many years ago. He knew that lingering bitterness can make people act in ways they would live to regret. After all, unresolved anger can lead to harsh words or fights.


It can even lead somebody to bulldoze a person’s house. 


Everybody handles anger in different ways. Some are able to suppress it; some are not. Barry Swegle is an example of the latter. In 2013, the middle-aged man from Port Angeles, Washington found himself in a disagreement with his neighbors over a fence of theirs that had fallen into disrepair…and into his driveway.


According to reports, Swegle asked his neighbors to remove the fence, or at least repair it, so that he could transport his logging equipment on and off his own property. When no action was taken, Swegle became angry and words were exchanged. After a contentious and longstanding feud with no satisfaction in sight, Swegle resorted to drastic measures and used his bulldozer to completely destroy three of his neighbors’ homes, damaging a fourth. He also demolished a boat, a truck, and a utility pole, causing thousands to be without power.


I guess in this instance, a fence DIDN’T make for good neighbors….


Swegle was arrested and detained at Clallam County Jail where he faced multiple charges of assault and “malicious mischief.” When the dust finally settled, Swegle’s brother Jeff claimed, “I knew he was capable of tearing the fence out,” but “not the homes and the power pole. I didn’t think he was that mad. I think he snapped, I think he lost it.”


Unresolved anger always leads to destruction. Sometimes it destroys “stuff” and sometimes it destroys hearts. It’s best to just do what Paul said: deal with anger right away.


Click here for the online report.


Topics Illustrated Include:
Bad Decisions
Hurtful Words


(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)