On Friday, Februay 12, 2016, law enforcement was called after a woman claimed the father of “affluenza teen” Ethan Couch assaulted her during a dispute. WFAA 8 ABC reports that a female telephoned 911 identifying herself as Fred Couch’s girlfriend, claiming he choked her at a home located in Eagle Mountain, Texas.
Sheriff Dee Anderson told WFAA that the woman informed deputies who arrived on scene that “she had been choked and kept from leaving the residence.” Anderson continued by noting the deputies observed “some red marks on her neck, consistent with what she was saying.”
The woman, according to Anderson, would not allow authorities to photograph her injuries and failed to cooperate fully with them. In fact, she apparently left the home prior to law enforcement completing an investigation.
WFAA reports that Anderson indicated the department is not currently looking for Fred Couch because they cannot arrest him without cooperation from his girlfriend. As a result, there is not enough evidence at this point to charge Couch, who left the Eagle Mountain home before police arrived, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Fox 4 reports this is not the first time Fred Couch has had contact with the law. In November 2015, a woman called police claiming he abused her, according to the Chicago Tribune. The news media outlet also reports that in 1999, Couch did two years’ probation after serving several days in jail for assault of a contracting firm supervisor that hired Couch’s roofing company.
In addition, Fred Couch faced claims in 2009 that he sexually harassed a female employee. The dispute was settled out of court, the terms of which remain sealed, the Chicago Tribune reports.
In April 2014, Fred Couch was accused of impersonating a police officer in North Richland Hills, Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News. He is due in court next month regarding the matter.
Fred Couch and his family have been the center of attention since 2013, garnering international headlines after his son, Ethan Couch, at the age of 16, killed four people and seriously wounded another after plowing into them with his vehicle.
ABC News reports that at the time, Ethan Couch had been living on his own at his parents’ second residence and had been partying the night of the incident. Couch got behind the wheel of his Ford F-350 truck after a teen at the party told him she needed to get to a store. According to ABC, many partygoers told Couch he was too drunk to drive, but he got behind the wheel anyway.
Deposition tapes obtained by ABC indicate that during the drive, Ethan Couch swerved at one point, causing him to hit a disabled vehicle parked on the side of the road along with four people standing around it. Couch then hit another vehicle, pushing it into oncoming traffic.
Subsequently, prosecutors charged Ethan Couch with manslaughter and assault while intoxicated. The teen pleaded guilty to the charges, and during sentencing gained international attention after the testimony of Dr. G. Dick Miller, a prominent psychologist. ABC reports Miller argued Couch suffered from “affluenza” because during his childhood, Couch’s rich parents never held him accountable for any of his actions. The prosecution argued the teen should receive 20 years in prison, but the judge overseeing the case sentenced Couch to rehabilitation and 10 years of probation.
In December 2015, Ethan Couch, 18, and his mother Tonya Couch, 48, were arrested in Mexico after the teen missed a mandatory probation visit with authorities. Ethan Couch remains jailed and will appear at a hearing next week to determine if he will be moved to the adult system from the juvenile division, reports Fox 4.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Ethan Couch’s parents, Fred and Tonya Couch, were married twice and are now divorcing a second time.
[Photo By LM Otero/AP Photo]