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Incident ends after five Taser shots, four bean bag rounds

Douglas B. Spink

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.

Find out what happened next in Tuesday's Butler Eagle.

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