Is It Genetic? Affluenza Teen’s Dad Gets Arrested for Pretending to Be a Cop

Run-ins with the law seem to run in this family.

Frederick Couch. (Photo: "Father Of 'Affluenza' Teen Arrested"/

Aug 20, 2014· 1 MIN READ
Shaya Tayefe Mohajer is TakePart's News Editor.

You might remember when a Texas judge decided last year that a rich 16-year-old boy had lived a life of such luxury that he was mentally incapable of discerning right from wrong.

The rest of us, at least those who were raised modestly, intuitively knew a few things a judge said young Ethan Couch couldn’t figure out: We knew the teen was wrong when he got wasted and sat behind the wheel of a car, and we knew it was criminal when he smashed into a crowd of people, killing four and injuring others.

Yet his punishment was probation and rehab—no prison time.

His successful defense was his (seemingly acute) case of affluenza.

Well, there’s no research to say so, but in Couch’s case, you have to wonder if affluenza may be a genetic disorder, inherited like a breast cancer gene or a weekend estate in the Hamptons.

Ethan Couch’s father, Frederick Anthony Couch, was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly told law enforcement that he was a police officer.

As you might guess from Ethan’s lavish upbringing, Fred is no cop—he owns a sheet metal company.

The Dallas Morning News reports that officers responded to a disturbance call back in July and found Couch on the scene, where he told law enforcement that he was on the force and his “police stuff” was in his car.

Couch allegedly flashed a fake badge and ID and was allowed to go, but one of the officers looked into the claim, and it turned up bunk. A warrant was issued for Couch’s arrest, and he has been charged with false identification as a police officer. He posted $2,500 bond and has been released.

Couch has a pretty long criminal history. The Daily Mail reported that he’s been arrested for theft, assault, and other charges. Clearly Dad struggles to tell right from wrong too. And he’s not role modeling great behavior for his son.

Which leads you to wonder if affluenza really is genetic—and also incurable.