Former firefighter indicted for alleged rape

Assault reportedly occurred at defendant’s bar

By Melanie Yingst -

Aaron Covault

Aaron Covault

Thomas Perkins Jr.

Jeffery P. Covault

MIAMI COUNTY — On Friday morning, former Troy Fire Department firefighter Jeff Covault, 48, of Troy, and co-defendant Thomas Perkins Jr., 54, of Springcreek Twp., were arraigned in Miami County Common Pleas Court on first-degree felony rape charges from an alleged sexual assault on March 2.

Judge Christopher Gee set bond at $200,000 for each defendant. They were indicted by a grand jury by secret indictment. They both entered a plea of not guilty to the charge.

Both Perkins and Covault were arrested on warrants at their homes on Thursday afternoon. According to reports, the pair allegedly sexually assaulted a 21-year-old female at The Vault bar on March 2. Covault owns the establishment located in the 700 block of N. County Road 25-A, Troy.

Covault submitted his retirement notice to the city on March 15. According to city records, Covault was first placed on paid administrative leave on March 2. He was later suspended without pay on March 5, due to the alleged misconduct and reports of the incident being investigated by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office. His notice of retirement was accepted by the city on March 15. He was employed by the department for 21 years.

In a related incident, Covault’s son, Aaron, 24, of Troy, was incarcerated after allegedly firing a gun in the front yard of his home outside of Troy on Thursday evening.

Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the 700 block of County-Road 25-A, outside the Troy city limits after shots fired call was reported to the Miami County 9-1-1 Communication Center around 6:38 p.m. Thursday. No injuries were reported.

According to Sgt. Chris Bobb, Aaron Covault fired several shots from a pistol in front of his home before occupants inside called 9-1-1. Covault was allegedly upset due to his father being arrested earlier Thursday afternoon.

Troy Police Department units were also dispatched to close down the road near the Miami County Fairgrounds at Harrison Street and Lytle Road as deputies investigated the incident. Aaron Covault was found outside smoking a cigarette and was apprehended without incident.

He was charged with third-degree felony weapon while under disability and misdemeanor weapons while intoxicated. He was arraigned in Miami County Municipal Court. He entered a plea of not guilty and his bond was set at $22,000 for both charges.

Aaron Covault Covault

Thomas Perkins Jr. Perkins Jr.

Jeffery P. Covault P. Covault
Assault reportedly occurred at defendant’s bar

By Melanie Yingst