SEMO student cuts himself breaking into newspaper

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A badly beaten and bleeding Cape Girardeau man broke into the Southeast Missourian newspaper offices early Saturday morning, apparently after getting into an altercation at a local bar.

Police identified the man as 22-year-old Nicholas Vogt, a Southeast Missouri State University student, though charges of trespassing and property damage were still pending Monday, said police Sgt. Barry Hovis.

Police said Vogt, who lives at 233 N. Ellis St., busted out glass in the newspaper's front door at 301 Broadway and let himself in at about 4:30 a.m. Video surveillance showed that the man wandered around the newspaper offices for about three hours, leaving pools of blood in several locations throughout the offices. At one point, he slept on the floor for about an hour and a half.

At about 7:30 a.m., the man left the front of the office, which was vacant, and ventured into the circulation department, where he came across an early-morning worker who was making customer-service calls.

"He just came around the corner," said Regina Jones, who has worked at the Missourian for 15 years. "I saw him out of the corner of my eye and my mouth flew open and my eyes got big. ... I didn't think he was going to hurt me. But it was scary."

Jones contacted her superviser, classified manager Mark Kneer, who contacted police. Kneer went to the office and saw that the man was bloody and beaten. One of Vogt's teeth apparently had been knocked out, Kneer said.

"There was a lot of blood," Kneer said. "It looked like somebody had been shot."

Kneer's understanding was that the suspect had gotten into a fight at an area bar and had wandered down Broadway. Hovis said Vogt told police he had no idea how he got the lacerations or how he got into the Missourian offices. Vogt was taken to an area hospital Saturday morning, Hovis said. Charges were pending at the Cape Girardeau County prosecuter's office.

Kneer said the man was disoriented.

"He kept saying he didn't know where he was," Kneer said. The Missourian suffered about $100 in damage, plus about eight hours' worth of cleaning.

He said the newspaper was reviewing its security system.

"We've never had a situation like this before," Kneer said.

335-6611, extension 137

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