Dad Of 'Affluenza' Teen Charged With Impersonating An Officer

NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Authorities have arrested a man they said posed as a reserve officer for the Town of Lakeside at the scene of a disturbance call, North Richland Hills police said Tuesday afternoon.

According to a written statement, Frederick Anthony Couch identified himself as a reserve officer when police responded to the call during the early morning hours of July 28 in the 4400 block of Mackey Drive.

Frederick Couch is the father of Ethan Couch, the 16-year-old who was driving drunk in June 2013 when he killed four people.

The case gained national attention after a psychologist testifying in that trial called Ethan Couch a product of "affluenza," where his family felt that wealth bought privilege and there was no rational link between behavior and consequences.

Ethan Couch was sentenced to probation.

Police said Frederick Couch led an officer to his vehicle, and according to the arrest warrant, Couch said his "Lakeside police stuff" was inside. He told the officer he was a reserve officer for the Lakeside police.

"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," North Richland Hills investigator K. Bauman said. "Upon completion of the call, all subjects involved were allowed to leave the location."

In the arrest warrant, the other responding officer in the incident explains that he or she actually worked part time as a Lakeside police officer from 2011 to 2012 and didn't know Couch. Couch knew the Lakeside police chief's name and displayed a badge that looked similar to the Lakeside police badge.

The responding officer later contacted the Lakeside Police Chief Lee Pitts, who said Couch was not nor had ever been a reserve officer for Lakeside. The officer also found Couch was not licensed as a peace officer in Texas.

Couch was arrested late Tuesday morning and later released on a $2,500 bond.

Lakeside is located about 12 miles northeast of Fort Worth.


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