The Man Behind the Wrecking Ball - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/21/04

The Man Behind the Wrecking Ball

"It looks like a bomb hit it or something," said Auggie Chavarria. The TxDOT official says the demolition of the Burrus elevator is on schedule. "Monday they're going to come and start hauling off debris," he said.

Three weeks have passed since the first blow was struck. Half the elevator is now just a twisted pile of steel and concrete. The other half, a spider web of rebar, with massive pieces of concrete as flies.

The man responsible for all that destruction? Lee Dethlefsen. A former construction worker who had a change of heart. "I used to build this stuff, now I take 'em down," he said. He's taking it down with a 9,000 pound iron ball, or, as he calls it, a biscuit. "Why do you call it a biscuit?,' asked NewsChannel 11. "Well, 'cause it's flat like a biscuit. You know how a muffin is made? Used to have a little lip going all the way around it, looks just like one and they just called it a biscuit," he said.

A biscuit that's causing the elevator indigestion. "Looks like a good job to take out frustrations?," asked NC11. "It is. If you mad at somebody you just put their picture up there and start beatin' on 'em," he laughed. "Very Dr. Phil-ish," said NC11. "Right," said Dethlefsen.

Lee Dethlefsen, easy-going elevator exterminator, but don't get on his bad side, or your picture might be eating a 9,000 pound biscuit.

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