NJ man who jumped off bridge with 2 boys argued with wife before fatal fall
WANAQUE — The North Jersey father who jumped to his death with his two toddlers in his arms had a history of domestic violence, New Jersey 101.5 has learned.
The two brothers who miraculously survived after their suicidal father leaped off the Route 287 overpass Monday night continue to recover from their injuries.
Pequannock police Capt. Christopher DePuyt told New Jersey 101.5 that the 1-year-old boy suffered a bruised lung, a concussion and a fractured rib while the 3-year-old had a concussion. Both are being treated at St. Joseph's Medical Center in Paterson and are expected to make a full recovery.
"That's the best news you can hope for in a situation like this," DePuyt said.
New details also emerged about the father, identified as John Spincken, 37, of Pequannock, who had a history of violence and run-ins with police.
Spincken, with his boys in his arms, jumped off the bridge just after 8 p.m. on Monday night on the southbound side at milepost 56.4 in Wanaque, just south of the Skyline Drive exit.
The three were found 100 feet below in the thickly forested area along the Wanaque River. Spincken was pronounced dead at 9 p.m.
State Police determined that the jump was intentional. He took the boys with him after an argument with his wife in which he said he was going to harm them.
DePuyt said the parents have lived in Pequannock for just over a year and police have not been called to the home before Monday.
But court records show that Spincken pleaded guilty in 2003 to violating a domestic violence restraining order. Police in Hawthorne also charged Spincken with unlawfully possessing firearms and handguns without a permit and criminal mischief. Records show Spincken was sentenced to 60 days in jail and five years of probation.
Hawthorne police on Tuesday declined to release even basic public information about the previous arrest. A spokeswoman for the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately return a call for comment.
More recently, Spincken was the owner/operator of Autolux, a auto detailing business. The business did not have a fixed address but was "mobile."
The family purchased their home on Green View Drive in May for $589,000 and took out a mortgage for more than $538,000, property records show.
The home is in a quiet, leafy neighborhood of quarter-acre lots and no sidewalks. Neighbors told reporters they were shocked by the news.
The family previously lived in Butler.
The area is not far from where Riverdale Police Sgt. Greg Bogert stopped a man in April from jumping off an overpass near the Hamburg Turnpike exit.
"There have been previous attempts and successful suicide attempts at that location, which is why we honed in on that area once we got an approximate GPS location. There is the suicide prevention fencing which has been installed by the state that's been there for years. But if someone is determined it's unfortunate that things are going to happen," DePuyt said.
Sergio Bichao contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
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