ST. GEORGE — Police arrested a 37-year-old man Thursday after he allegedly assaulted his roommate with a metal vacuum pipe during an altercation the man reportedly said began when his roommate was trying to take pictures of him in his underwear.
On March 27, St. George Police Officer Jared Carlson responded to a home on North Crescent Circle in St. George after receiving reports of a physical fight in progress, Carlson wrote in a probable cause statement supporting the arrest. When he arrived on scene, Carlson walked up to the front door and saw a silver metal pipe on the ground in front of the door that appeared to be part of a vacuum cleaner.
Once inside, the officer contacted a man who said his roommate, Michael Covert, had assaulted him inside the home.
According to the statement, the roommate said he and Covert had been living together since October 2013 and Covert had recently been “acting very strange and accusing (the roommate) of sabotaging his vehicle.”
The roommate also said he noticed security cameras in the home were being moved from time to time, the statement said, and, on March 27 he confronted Covert about it after believing one of his security cameras to have been broken.
Covert became upset and allegedly began hitting his roommate in the face and chest with his fists, Carlson said in the statement. Covert allegedly then put his roommate in a body lock and pushed him into the hallway. The roommate pushed Covert away and walked into the front room of the home.
“As (the roommate) walked in front of the front room,” Carson said in the statement, “(Covert) ran up behind him with a silver pipe and struck him on the right side of his head.”
According to the statement, he was able to block some of the blows with his arms and was struck in his left arm above the elbow and his upper-left torso. The roommate was able to wrestle the pipe away from Covert and take him to the ground where he placed him in a choke-hold.
“Michael started to yell ‘I’m done’ and he could not breath,” Carlson said in the statement. “(The roommate) let go of Michael’s neck and let him up. When Michael got up, he reach down and picked up the pipe.”
Thinking he was going to be attacked again, Carlson said in the statement, the roommate grabbed for the pipe and Covert again, attempted to strike him with it. At this time, the roommate’s friend also assisted and helped push Covert out the front door.
Covert then allegedly attempted to used the pipe to hold the door open, the statement said, and also swung it at the two men before they were able to close it. While he was trying to hit them, Covert reportedly damaged the front door by putting a hole in it.
The roommate was bleeding from his lip and had a cut on the right side of his mouth.
“There was blood on (the roommate’s) shirt and a bump on the right side of his head,” Carlson said in the statement. “I could not see any signs of injury through his hair but he stated he could feel the bump.”
His right arm was also swollen and red directly above the elbow where he was struck with the pipe, the statement said. There was also blood on the floor where the two men had been wrestling.
According to the statement, the roommate did not loose consciousness during the assault, but said he was in a lot of pain. After being evaluated by Gold Cross paramedics, it was recommend he go to the hospital but the roommate refused transport.
On Thursday, the statement said, Carlson contacted Covert and spoke with him about the alleged incident. Covert admitted to getting in a physical confrontation with his roommate, but said it began over a different reason.
“Michael admitted he hit (his roommate’s) cell phone out of his hands because he believed (his roommate) was taking pictures of him in his underwear,” Carlson said in the statement.
Covert also admitted to picking up the pipe and attacking his roommate, the statement said, but said he had done so because he had been attacked first.
According to the statement, based on the evidence and information gathered, Carlson placed Covert under arrest and transported him to Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Covert was charged with one third-degree felony for aggravated assault and one class B misdemeanor for criminal mischief. His bail pending trial stands at $5,500.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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