A former NFL player is potentially facing hate crime charges for burglarizing his own restaurant in hopes to cash out on the insurance.
Last week, Gwinett County police were called to Edawn Louis Coughman's Create and Bake Pizza and Coughman's Creamery in Lawrenceville, Georgia to respond to a burglary in progress. Police went inside both businesses to find racially-insensitive words, swastikas, and Donald Trump's 'MAGA' motto plastered on the walls. However, it didn't take long for authorities to piece together the crime.
“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.
Cpl. Michele Pihera spoke with a local news outlet and said a shopping plaza maintenance worker saw someone burglarizing the establishments and called the police. Already in the area, authorities located a black truck with missing license plates. When they pulled the car over, Coughman was inside along with several flat-screen TVs.
The black spray paint seen inside the restaurant was reportedly discovered on the former Dallas Cowboy and Arizona Cardinal's hand.
“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.”
The truck was later impounded by Gwinnett County Police Headquarters and by Thursday afternoon, authorities located a crowbar and black spray paint. Coughman reportedly was released on bond and faces insurance fraud, making a false report and a tag violation for taking his plate off.