Police have charged a former NFL football player, and current owner of a restaurant, with faking a hate crime and committing a burglary incident against his own business.
Edwan Coughman, who played in the NFL from 2012 to 2016, told his insurance company that vandals spray-painted racial slurs, swastikas and “MAGA” on the walls of his Create and Bake and Coughman’s Creamery in Gwinnett County, Georgia.
He also reported that flat-screen television sets had been ripped off the walls and stolen.
But police say Coughman targeted his own business in a “crime” that happened last Wednesday.
As police described the incident, a maintenance worker at the shopping center where Coughman’s business is located saw a man in a black pick-up truck, without a license plate, burglarizing the restaurant.
Some police officers were already in the area and pulled the truck over.
Inside the truck was Coughman, where police say they found several flat-screen TVs, a crowbar and spray paint.
“The brackets were still attached and there was still drywall attached to the brackets, meaning, someone took them off very quickly,” Gwinnett County Police officer, Michele Pihera told WSB-TV.
When the officers went to the restaurant, they saw such racial words as “monkey” and the n-word, as well as MAGA, spray-painted everywhere. Police also saw fresh paint on Coughman’s hands.
“He had reported this incident to his insurance company prior to officers conducting that first pull-over,” Pihera said. “He was attempting to leave that shopping center when our officers conducted that felony stop. Everything lined up for this perfect arrest.”
Coughman, who played for the Washington Redskins, Dallas and most recently with the Arizona Cardinals, was charged with insurance fraud, making a false report and a license tag violation.
Police say he could face additional charges.