Ex-NFL player Edawn Coughman charged with faking hate crime

Michael David Smith

Edawn Coughman, who bounced around the NFL with seven teams from 2012 to 2016, has been arrested and charged with staging a hoax hate crime.

The 31-year-old Coughman is charged with false report of a crime, insurance fraud and concealing a license plate, CNN reports.

A witness called police on Thursday describing a suspect vandalizing a restaurant Coughman owns and driving away in a black truck without a license plate. Police spotted the truck and pulled it over. Coughman was driving, and inside the car were several televisions still attached to brackets with damaged drywall, as well as black spray paint cans.

In addition to missing televisions, the damage found inside the restaurant included racial slurs, swastikas and the word “MAGA” written in black spray paint. Coughman told police he had found the vandalism done to his restaurant and reported it to his insurance company, but hadn’t called the police.

“It appears as though Edawn conjured a premeditated plan to damage his own property, attempt to make it appear as a hate crime, file a claim with his insurance company, and sell off the undamaged appliances and electronics,” police said in a statement.

Coughman’s attorney issued a statement saying, “Coughman is presumed innocent like anyone else who is accused of a crime . . . don’t prejudge him without knowing all the facts.”