Former Steamboat Springs High School teacher sentenced to jail
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A former Steamboat Springs High School industrial arts teacher was sentenced Thursday to four years of probation and one year in Routt County Jail.
As part of a plea deal, Dustin “Dusty” Dike in June pleaded guilty to felony theft and misdemeanor first-degree criminal tampering.
Dike was first arrested June 16, 2016, after police suspected him of stealing a $75,000 backhoe.
Steamboat police then discovered evidence that led them to believe Dike had committed other crimes. Police believe Dike burglarized a ski shop in Gondola Square as well as a business on 13th Street, which reported $7,000 worth of items had been stolen.
Dike still has a case pending related to a stolen motorcycle.
Dike’s attorney Eric Fenster told Judge Shelley Hill that Dike’s compulsive behavior was caused by the cocktail of medications that Dike is taking for Parkinson’s disease, which Dike has had for nine years.
“He acts like an addict,” Fenster. “There is a chemical component to that behavior.”
Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen expressed concerns about Dike’s future.
“In the very near distance, I don’t think he’s going to leave the criminal justice system any choice but to send him to prison,” Karzen said.
Hill heard from some of Dike’s victims.
James Pavlic, the owner of Precision Sharpening & Repair, said he stopped by the shop Christmas morning after mass to find the business’s door glass had been shattered.
“Needless to say, it was not the way to start Christmas morning,” Pavlic said.
He said it seemed like Dike had been terrorizing Steamboat for a few years.
“I think Mr. Dike needs to be institutionalized,” Pavlic said.
Hill also heard from Dike’s mother, Mary Dike.
“It’s an emotional roller coaster that these medications have put him on,” she said.
Dike apologized for the hassle he has caused.
“I seek more than anything to make whole the people that were hurt by this,” Dike said.
Hill said sending Dike to prison was not the solution, but she said a message needed to be sent to the community that his behavior was not acceptable.
“I do not pretend to understand the connection between Parkinson’s, your medication and your compulsive behavior,” Hill said.
Hill said the one-year jail sentence was dependent on the Routt County Jail being able to administer the medications that Dike needs.
“Some of the medications they simply won’t administer in this jail,” she said.
Dike’s sentence will be revisited if the jail will not allow the medications that Dike needs.
Dike needs to report to jail by Sept. 7.