The father of “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch was arrested Tuesday for impersonating a police officer.
Officers were called just before 1:30 a.m. July 28 to a disturbance in North Richland Hills, Texas, where they found Fred Couch at the scene claiming that he was a reserve Lakeside police officer.
After police finished investigating, they spoke again to Fred Couch, who repeated his claim that he was a reserve officer and told them he’d left his “police stuff” in his car.
“He kept putting his hands in his pocket, and that has a tendency to make officers nervous they don’t know what your intensions are,” said Keith Bauman, of North Richland Hills police.
He flashed a wallet containing what appeared to be a police badge and identification card, and police allowed Couch to leave.
But one of the responding officers had previously worked for Lakeside police, and he said the badge did not look legitimate and began investigating his claims.
As it turns out, Fred Couch has never been a licensed officer in the state of Texas.
He was charged with false identification as a police officer and jailed on $2,500 bond.
Couch’s 16-year-old son, Ethan, made national news last year after he was sentenced to probation and allowed to undergo costly alcohol rehabilitation treatment instead of prison after a drunken driving crash that killed four pedestrians.
A defense expert testified that Ethan Couch suffered from “affluenza” due to his parents’ wealth and was unable to take full responsibility for his actions in the fatal crash, which also seriously injured two of his friends.
The families of his victims have targeted that wealth in five civil lawsuits, including three filed by the survivors of the four people killed in the crash.
Fred Couch has a lengthy criminal record, according to a Daily Mail report, including arrests for theft, evading arrest, and an assault against his ex-wife, as well as 18 traffic violations.
Watch this video report posted online by KDFW-TV: