Scorned Contractor Destroys Façade of Apartment Building He Himself Built

A contractor who didn’t receive the payment he was promised rented an excavator and destroyed the façade of an apartment building he himself built.

Tenants were supposed to move into a newly completed apartment building in Blumberg, a small town in Germany’s Baden-Wurttemberg, in the next couple of weeks, but a bizarre incident has delayed their plans by at least three months. Late last month, a man operating an excavator showed up at the building and began meticulously tearing down the façade, breaking glass windows and destroying balconies, ultimately leaving the place looking like it had been in a war. Stranger still was that the man responsible for the devastation was allegedly the contractor who had been responsible for building the edifice in the first place.

Photo: Dimitris Vetsikas/Pixabay

Known only as Matija P., the 47-year-old man was dubbed “Excavator Rambo” by German media, after news and video footage of his exploits went viral. Although he has yet to make an official statement about his motives, newspaper Bild reports that the contractor was motivated by the fact that he did not receive payment in full for his services from the developer.

At least 30 apartments were damaged in the bizarre incident, but Excavator Rambo didn’t simply stop after destroying the façade, instead taking out his frustration on a few garages on the premises as well. Unbeknown to him, some had flammable cannisters store in them, but luckily none exploded, or the extent of the damage could have been even greater.


The only reason the contractor stopped his rampage was because his excavator eventually broke down. At that point, he casually got out of the vehicle, jumped into his own car and drove away. He later turned himself in and allegedly told police that the developer had not paid him according to their initial agreement. On the other hand, the developer says Matija P. received the agreed amount, minus 1.4% withheld for “individual defects” in construction.

Police tested the contractor for alcohol and drugs, but the results came out negative, so they had no reason to detain him. However, a criminal case was opened against the man, and he risks spending up to five years behind bars.


The developer reported financial losses of around €500,000 ($593,500), but no structural damage. It estimates that if construction material arrive on time, the building will once again be completed in about 3 months.

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