Winnipeggers might know Steve Vogelsang as the affable and knowledgeable sports anchor on CTV some years ago, while others know him as a past journalism instructor at Red River College.

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This article was published 23/10/2017 (1677 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeggers might know Steve Vogelsang as the affable and knowledgeable sports anchor on CTV some years ago, while others know him as a past journalism instructor at Red River College.

Medicine Hat police know Vogelsang as a suspect they have arrested and charged with robbing two banks in the Alberta city in the last week.

Steve Vogelsang is seen in a 2011 file photo. (John Johnston / Winnipeg Free Press files)</p>

Steve Vogelsang is seen in a 2011 file photo. (John Johnston / Winnipeg Free Press files)

He faces even more legal trouble — both criminal and personal — back in Winnipeg.

Vogelsang, 53, was in custody at the remand centre in Medicine Hat, awaiting his first court appearance today and a possible bail application.

Medicine Hat Police Service spokesman Sgt. Kelsey Fraser said Monday: "We don’t confirm previous employment, but I’ve received 15 calls from Winnipeg today."

According to police, on Oct. 19, a man wearing a red-and-black plaid jacket went into a local RBC branch at about 6:50 p.m., handed the teller a note demanding money and fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. The next day, at about 11:40 a.m., a man entered a local Bank of Montreal branch and demanded money before fleeing.

A suspect was arrested Saturday without incident. Fraser said during the robberies, no weapons were seen and nobody was injured.

Vogelsang was sports anchor at CKY, which became CTV Winnipeg, and then became the station’s news director.

He left to become an instructor at Red River College’s creative communications program from 2002 until he resigned in 2011, moving to Nelson, B.C., with his wife. He divorced last year.

Court documents in Winnipeg confirm he returned to teaching at Red River in 2015.

According to Vogelsang’s Facebook page, he is originally from Saskatoon and studied journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto. He also studied adult education at Red River and learning styles at the University of Central Michigan.

Red River College spokesman Conor Lloyd said Monday: "Steve Vogelsang is no longer employed at Red River College," and that "today’s news isn’t related to his time at RRC."

Matt Preprost, a former Red River student turned managing editor of the Alaska Highway News, said he couldn’t believe the news about his former teacher.

"I’m shocked and upset, in disbelief, as I know many of Steve’s former students are," Preprost said Monday.

"Steve was a tough, but fair teacher — one who built his lessons and rapport with us through a mix of fun and humour, always challenging us to step outside our comfort zones and to be better than our last assignment. ‘No guts, no glory,’ as he used to say."

Duncan McMonagle, a former journalism instructor at Red River who worked with Vogelsang, said "it’s always surprising when somebody you know appears be in trouble... It’s sad. But of course, whatever he is charged with he is innocent until proven guilty."

What may have led Vogelsang to be accused of robbing a pair of banks is not yet known, but court documents hold a few clues — and more criminal allegations.

Vogelsang was charged with sexually assaulting a woman on Sept. 4, 2016. That charge was reportedly stayed Monday.

No details are known about those allegations, but earlier this year, a woman who was acting as a surety so he could get out on bail applied to withdraw saying Vogelsang "has been physically and verbally abusive including threats to my person."

Vogelsang is also charged with three counts of disobeying a protection order taken out against him by another woman.

The courts have ordered Vogelsang to have no contact with either woman.

Vogelsang and his wife of 16 years divorced in December, saying in court documents "unhappy differences have arisen between us."

Earlier this month, his ex-wife filed an affidavit in Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench detailing problems with the family home, which Vogelsang had kept as part of the divorce. They had purchased a house on Waverley Street for $540,000, and it had a total mortgage of $451,000.

They also lost money on three houses they bought in British Columbia during their marriage, which were sold for a total of $85,000 less than what they paid for them.

His ex-wife said she discovered last year her name was on documents when Vogelsang renewed the mortgage on the Winnipeg property. He then admitted to her in a text message he had forged her signature on the document, the affidavit says.

"I couldn’t get any kind of mortgage, not even get the original one renewed, when I didn’t get any of those jobs this summer," Vogelsang said in a text sent last year, the report says. "I am in this situation (because) I gave you everything and did not ask for any spousal support."

His former wife later discovered the house was about to be foreclosed because Vogelsang allegedly wasn’t keeping up with mortgage payments. Her father paid more than $2,500 to keep the house from being foreclosed and then the house was put on the market for $565,000 earlier this year, the affidavit says.

In August, the house was for sale for $489,000, but when a potential buyer offered $450,000, Vogelsang refused to sell, the report says. The woman said, as of Oct. 5, foreclosure of the house was "imminent."

In an email to his ex-wife, just a month before the first bank robbery, Vogelsang said: "I have been staying in my truck regularly... I can not afford groceries so whatever food I have left from the lake will have to tied me over... then I’ll steal food until I get an EI payment on Tuesday, Sept. 26. I cannot be expected to live like this."

Meanwhile, during a hearing asking for a protection order earlier this year, another woman — who can’t be named because of a publication ban — said she first met Vogelsang in September 2002 and began a relationship with him two years later. The woman had been a student at Red River College when she first met him.

"From the beginning, it wasn’t the healthiest relationship. It was on and off for many years. It was also a private relationship. Not too many people knew about it, secret," she said in court documents.

The woman said the two split when Vogelsang moved to B.C., but the relationship started again when he moved back to Manitoba in 2014.

However, she said she saw a change in Vogelsang, the documents say. She said he opened up to her about his depression and shortly after, when they had their first major argument, she told him they should split up. "He yelled at me on the phone and called me a f---ing b----. At that point in the relationship I knew this was a different version of Steve that I was dealing with."

She said she finally got the police involved about harassment she was receiving by email, text messages and voice mail, and they went and spoke to him twice. She said the last incident she called police about before she applied for the protection order, was when a neighbour found notes from him sealed in a Ziploc bag in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

At that time, she said, no charges were laid, but that’s when she decided to apply for a protection order.

"Now that he has come to my home, he’s had a third visit from the police, he is not, clearly not, listening to anyone... That’s when I really felt like my safety was at risk," she said in the court filing. "It’s emotional and verbal abuse."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

 

Kevin Rollason

Kevin Rollason
Reporter

Kevin Rollason is one of the more versatile reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press. Whether it is covering city hall, the law courts, or general reporting, Rollason can be counted on to not only answer the 5 Ws — Who, What, When, Where and Why — but to do it in an interesting and accessible way for readers.