Landlord Tries to Evict Renters by Bulldozing Them Out

March 5, 2012

An Idaho landlord pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor of disturbing the peace for an incident stemming from 2010 when he drove a tractor into a home he owns while the renters he was trying to evict were inside. 

Paul Fagerlie Finman said the family who was renting the home were anti-government extremists who had threatened his life and he wanted them to leave. The renters reportedly had been trying to negotiate rent with Finman, but they say he had been uncooperative. 

When the renters didn’t leave the property by a certain date, Finman drove his tractor into the home, according to police reports. 

At the time the tractor came tearing through the home, renter Alexander Duncan Campbell was not home but his wife and children were. They allege that Finman continued to pursue them on the tractor even after they had fled. No one was injured.  

Finman, who had recently acquired the property prior to the incident, reportedly had intentions to bulldoze the property and that’s why he wanted the tenants to leave.

"He decided that driving the tractor through the house was a quicker process," Shane Greenbank, Bonner County chief deputy prosecutor, told AOL Real Estate. 

In another twist to the case, Campbell, the renter, is allegedly wanted on charges of illegal possession of a concealed weapon, and the family’s whereabouts are unknown. 

Finman, 56,  was originally charged with three counts of aggravated assault following the incident. With the family missing to testify against Finman, the prosecution agreed to a settlement, reducing the charges against to Finman to one count of a misdemeanor. 

Source: “Landlord Wrecks Occupied Home, Pleads Guilty to Misdemeanor,” AOL Real Estate (March 1, 2012) and “Assault Case Is Resolved,” Bonner County Daily Bee (Feb. 28, 2012)

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