RIVERDALE -- The guest of honor at a party celebrating his going on the lam has been jailed after a week at large.
The party for Stephen Jeff Vogel, 26, for unrelated reasons also turned into a brawl involving up to 30 people, that was broken up by police at 1 a.m. July 29 in the Target Superstore parking lot.
Six adult males and a juvenile were arrested on assault charges. Vogel was the last suspect Riverdale police sought, as he was unaccounted for at the early morning fight scene.
He also failed to show up that day for his 9 a.m. 2nd District Court session, where police were waiting.
He was to be sentenced on marijuana and oxycodone possession charges. Instead, Judge Mark DeCaria issued a no-bail bench warrant for Vogel's arrest.
The party-turned-melee had been called for friends to say goodbye to Vogel, police said, with half of the attendees thinking he was going on the run, the rest believing he was headed to jail.
By Aug. 7, the former turned into the latter.
Working off tips, a detective was watching a house in Riverdale where it was believed Vogel might be hiding out.
"He just sat on the apartment until the resident came home," said Lt. Jim Ebert, while others checked out rumors that Vogel had left the state, which turned out to be a red herring, meant to mislead.
The information wasn't enough for a search warrant, Ebert said.
"We didn't really have a cooperative witness, someone willing to testify down the road, that would get us a search warrant. We just had a rumor, so we just decided to sit on the apartment. Just waiting."
Finally the apartment dweller came home and denied Vogel was on the premises. However, that person agreed to let the detective look inside.
"The door opened, and there was Stephen Vogel sitting on the couch," Ebert said. "He was not happy to see the officer."
Although disappointed, Vogel was cooperative. Ebert said he admitted to some level of involvement in the July 29 fight. He hasn't been charged yet for that.
But Monday, DeCaria sentenced Vogel to 60 days in jail on the drug charges he tried to outrun.
The fight had spilled over from the party at the adjacent Riverdale Mobile Home Estates, 5100 S. 1050 West. The fighting resulted in nonlife-threatening injuries to four people, including one who was stabbed and another who had a head injury from a blunt object.
Police recovered a host of weapons from the scene, including baseball bats, several knives, a cane, crutches and a hammer. Events grew from a dispute over a debt of less than $50.