PEQUANNOCK, N.J. — A father who died jumping 100 feet from an overpass with his two young sons in a murder-suicide attempt had a history of domestic violence, PIX11 News learned Tuesday.
Public records show that John Spincken was found guilty in 2003 of violating a domestic violence order. He served time in jail, police said.
The 37-year-old also was charged with the unlawful possession of a weapon, a BB gun.
On Monday night, police in Pequannock were called to the family’s home on Greenview Drive by Spincken’s wife. She told investigators that her husband threatened to hurt their sons, ages 1 and 3. He sped off with the toddlers in the couple’s white Jeep.
Cops tracked Spincken’s cellphone and found the Jeep on Route 287 near mile marker 56 -- near an overpass -- but no one was inside.
The drop from the overpass is about 100 feet.
“You are expecting the worst,” said Pequannock Police Capt. Christopher DePuyt. “And when the officers found the children conscious and alert, it’s nothing short of a miracle.”
The boys were found in the woods below. They were rushed to a hospital where they are being treated for non-life threatening injuries, including a concussion and a bruised lung.
“Fortunately the trees ended up breaking some of the fall for the children,” DePuyt said.
Their father was pronounced dead at the scene.
Photos show another side of this husband and father of two. Neighbors said they had never seen a disturbance at the home before.
"A dad’s gone, and he’s got two little boys and a wife that are going to grow up alone,” said Nazif Mehmedi, a neighbor and a father of two.
In 2014, Spincken posted to Facebook that his infant son had nearly died. He stopped breathing and Spincken said he administered CPR.
"I instinctively saved Frankie's life with a few simple breathes of my own,” he wrote. "Do not take life for granted, you never know when you will take your last breath."
Anyone who saw Spincken on the Route 287 overpass is asked to call New Jersey State Police.