Police dog nabs Valpo stabbing suspect in Portage
Post-Tribune Staff report November 2, 2011 12:38PM
Updated: December 4, 2011 11:06AM
PORTAGE — A Lake Station police dog dragged a stabbing suspect out from under a truck where he was hiding from police Wednesday morning.
Portage police arrested Robert W. Stevens, 43, in connection with a Monday stabbing attack in Valparaiso.
Police had been searching for Stevens since the stabbing of Michael Philipp, 46, of 8 Harmel Drive in Valparaiso. He suffered wounds to his face and neck in the attack.
Police received a tip at 9:06 a.m. Wednesday from a woman who said Stevens was at her residence at 2785 Brown St. visiting her son, Steven Yakel.
Yakel told police Stevens had fled on foot when he found out police were en route. Police said Yakel kept changing his story about the direction Stevens ran. Portage police set up a perimeter in the area and asked for assistance from Lake Station’s police dog, Mox. Lake Station Officer Mike Smith and Mox tracked Stevens to the back of a truck parked at the Yakel residence.
Police saw Stevens hiding under the truck on top of the rear axle under the truck bed. Stevens refused to come out and police said Mox removed him, police said. Stevens suffered several lacerations to his right arm and he was taken to the Porter hospital in Valparaiso for treatment.
Police also arrested Yakel for lying to police.
Police later learned that Stevens spent Tuesday night in the truck.
Lake Station Police Chief Mike Stills said he was impressed with Mox and Smith’s role in the capture of Stevens, but not surprised. “It’s not uncommon for people to call and ask for the dog, Mike’s dog is very well-trained.”
After the stabbing attack Monday witnessed by Philipp’s family, police said Stevens fled through a back door. Valparaiso police tried unsuccessfully to locate Stevens Monday.
Portage police arrested Stevens last year after he fought with police after a traffic stop. He also was charged with failing to register as a sex offender at that time. He was convicted of rape in 1993.