The father of a North Texas teen whose defense blamed “affluenza” for his deadly DUI wreck has been arrested and accused of identifying himself as a police officer.
Frederick Anthony Couch was arrested Tuesday for falsely identifying himself as a police officer and for misrepresentation of property, North Richland Hills police said.
Officers were called to a disturbance on the 4400 block of Mackey Drive just after 1 a.m. July 28, police said Tuesday.
There, resident Keith Capo said Couch had a gun and had shown up with Capo's neighbor, who he said threatened him following a disagreement days before.
Capo's wife then called police.
"The officer I was speaking to was all gung-ho. He said, 'What do you want to happen?' I said, 'I want to press charges,'" Capo said.
Investigating officers spoke with Couch, who they said presented a badge and an identification card and identified himself as a reserve officer for the small Lake Worth community of Lakeside.
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According to police, as officers were wrapping up their investigation at the scene, Couch reiterated that he was a reserve police officer and said he had his "police stuff" in his car.
"Couch reached into his vehicle and took out his wallet, displaying what appeared to be a police badge and identification card, suggesting he was a police officer," police said in a news release Tuesday.
The officers at the scene looked into Couch's status as a reserve officer and learned that he was not an officer with the City of Lakeside and has never been licensed as a police officer in the state of Texas.
Capo said if Couch broke the law this time, he should pay the consequences, like anyone else.
"I just hope he understands that you can't sit there and say and do whatever you want, just because you got more money than anybody else. I mean, that's not right," Capo said.
Following his arrest Tuesday, Couch was taken to the city's detention facility for processing with bond set at $2,500.
Couch's son, Ethan, was intoxicated and behind the wheel of a pickup truck when he crashed and killed four people while injuring several others in June 2013.
The "affluenza" defense, which garnered national attention, maintained that the teen suffered from a condition where he had no sense of responsibility due to a lack of parenting.
Couch was subsequently sentenced to 10 years probation on four counts of intoxication manslaughter and ordered to be admitted to a rehabilitation facility at his parents' expense.
Since the verdict, the Couch family has settled several lawsuits worth millions of dollars with the families of the victims.