One of humankind’s stranger traditions is to not speak ill of the dead. To invoke this custom for the late Doug Spink, founder of Cryptostorm, would leave me nothing to say. And there are a few things that need to be said about Spink.
Rumors have circulated that Spink faked his death, changed his identity, and ran off to Canada or whatever. The conspiracy theories are untrue, Spink passed away from cancer in Pennsylvania, and he is still dead.
I stopped covering Spink after his arrest in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately the court system there fell for Spink’s well rehearsed remorseful act and released him early.
From the Butler Eagle, March of 2018:
A Butler police officer recounted a bizarre standoff last fall when he faced off with a man holed up in a vehicle with a post-traumatic stress disorder service dog and armed with a machete, sword and two knives.
Sgt. Dave Villotti at a preliminary hearing Monday testified that Douglas B. Spink, 47, of Butler was Tasered five times and struck with four bean bag rounds before he was finally arrested.
But before the two-hour Nov. 25 impasse ended, Spink, who was wanted on a mental health warrant, allegedly held a machete and knife to the dog’s throat and bit the hand of a trooper there to assist.District Judge William Fullerton at the hearing that saw the defendant act as his own attorney ordered him held for trial on charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
He is being held in the Butler County Prison on $35,000 bail.
A 911 call shortly after 9 a.m. led officers to the defendant, whose GMC Yukon had gotten stuck while making a turn in an alley between Fulton and Pearl streets. He was sleeping in the back of the vehicle when police got there, Villotti said.
The day before, the officer said, police had gone to Spink’s home with an involuntary mental health warrant obtained by the crisis intervention center. He was not there.
Villotti testified that the wanted man was “calm” at first. But then another man came by and dropped off the defendant’s service dog, which had run off the previous night when the vehicle got stuck.
“Everything changed after that,” Villotti said.Police apparently allowed the dog to get into the vehicle with Spink as they explained to him the warrant process. Moments later, he refused to get out of the vehicle.
The standoff quickly escalated.“He reached down on the floor of his SUV,” Villotti testified, “and came up with a machete and came at me with the machete. I shot him with my Taser.” But it appeared to have no effect. Another officer deployed his Taser, which also did not seem to faze the defendant.Villotti recalled that Spink jumped into the back seat, “put the dog in a headlock” and held the machete to the dog’s neck.“No one’s taking my dog,” he told police, according to testimony.Officers subsequently called Butler Township Police and troopers for assistance. Among those to respond was a state police negotiator and the state police Special Emergency Response Team.At one point, Villotti said, Spink threw the machete out a window. But then he grabbed a smaller knife that he held to the dog’s throat.He also began stabbing the inside of the vehicle.Villotti said that during the standoff, he coaxed the dog out of the vehicle after the defendant apparently fell asleep, momentarily.Almost immediately, however, Spink started screaming for his dog. A short time later, he got out of his vehicle as police tried to convince him to surrender.Police commanded him down on both knees. He got down on one knee but abruptly “jumped up,” Villotti said.City Police Chief Ron Brown deployed his Taser but again with little if any effect. SERT officers also shot Spink with two bean bag rounds — classified as “less lethal” ammunition that can be shot from a shotgun or rifle.The defendant allegedly made a run at Villotti, who was holding the service dog.“I kicked him in the midsection,” the officer recalled, “to keep his face away from me.”Two more Tasers and two more bean bag rounds were fired. Six officers swarmed Spink.But while on the ground, police said, he continued to fight back.“He’s biting me. He’s biting me,” one of the officers, a trooper, yelled, according to Villotti.The trooper was later taken to Butler Memorial Hospital to be examined for a minor bite wound.Police ultimately arrested the defendant who was taken to the same hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Acting as his own attorney, Spink remained calm, often referring to himself in the third person, as he questioned Villotti on cross-examination.
He got the officer to admit that police never showed him the mental health warrant that day nor did they let him speak to his PTSD peer counselor during the standoff.
But Villotti pushed back at Spink’s seeming attempt to minimize his behavior that day.
“When officers began Tasing Mr. Spink in his own private vehicle,” the defendant asked, “was Mr. Spink threatening those officers and is that why the Tasing started?
“Absolutely,” the officer replied.
“Did the defendant ever actually say that he was intending to or would kill his own dog or did you infer that on the basis of his concerns for his well being?” Spink asked.
“You straight out said it several times,” said Villotti, who noted that police seized a machete, sword and two knives from the defendant’s vehicle.
Spink is already awaiting trial on unrelated charges for allegedly trying to break into two homes Oct. 6 on Kayla Lane in Jefferson Township.
He is charged in that case with two counts each of attempted burglary and criminal mischief.
Related links and documents are down below.
Link to original: