The so-called "affluenza" DWI teen's father didn't provide much of a good example this week after he was arrested for allegedly impersonating a cop.
Frederick Anthony Couch, father of Ethan Couch, the boy responsible for killing four people during a drunken driving incident, was arrested Tuesday after being accused of telling real police officers that he was Texas law enforcement, Reuters reports. The elder Couch is out on bail while his son is still on probation for his "affluenza" DWI.
What do these charges mean for the "affluenza" teen's father?
Fake Cop, Real Charges
Frederick Couch was arrested based on an incident that allegedly occurred last month in North Richland Hills, Texas. According to Dallas-Fort Worth's KXAS-TV, Couch allegedly showed up at resident Keith Capo's house in the middle of the night with a gun. When police encountered Couch after responding to Capo's 911 call, Couch identified himself as "a reserve officer with a police department in another Fort Worth area community."
In Texas, there are several crimes related to impersonating a cop, such as:
- Impersonating a public servant -- A third degree felony charged when a person impersonates a public servant with intent to have others submit to the impersonator's authority or to rely on his or her fake official capacity.
- Possessing false peace office ID -- Simply possessing a fake police officer's badge, card, or insignia is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail.
- Impersonating a security officer -- Even impersonating a security officer can land an offender in jail for up to a year.
In Couch's case, a police statement recounts that he showed officers a wallet "displaying what appeared to be a police badge and identification card." But according to Reuters, the "affluenza" teen's dad has never been licensed as a police officer in Texas.
Bail and Other Worries
Couch was released on a $2,500 bond, meaning that he is out of custody at least until his next court date. But while the troubled father waits to learn what charges he'll be facing, he and the rest of his family may still need to deal with their son's legal mess.
In May, the Couch family inked a $2 million settlement with a victim paralyzed in the DWI crash caused by Ethan Couch. Although the family is now infamous for being affluent, we hope Couch has enough for his own legal defense.
- Police: 'Affluenza' teen's dad arrested after posing as Lakeside officer (Dallas Fort-Worth's WFAA)
- 'Affluenza' DWI Case: DA Still Wants Jail Time (FindLaw's Blotter)
- 'Affluenza' Teen's Family Settles With Some Victims (FindLaw's Injured)
- Is Teen's 'Affluenza' DWI Sentence Too Lenient? (FindLaw's Blotter)