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Ex-NFL Player Staged a Hate Crime, Police Say

Edawn Coughman faces charges including insurance fraud
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2019 9:25 AM CDT
Edawn Louis Coughman, 31, played in the NFL for four seasons. Police say Coughman` trashed his restaurant and ice cream shop near Atlanta to fake a racially motivated burglary.   (Gwinnett County Police via AP)
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(Newser) – Edawn Coughman, a former NFL player, faces charges after police said he destroyed his business in a ploy to portray himself as the victim of a hate crime. After receiving a call that someone was wrecking the Create and Bake Restaurant and Coughman's Creamery outside Atlanta, police said they found Coughman driving a car without a license plate nearby, CNN reports. Inside, they reporting finding "MAGA" graffiti, swastikas, and racial slurs on the walls in spray paint that was still wet. Cushions in booths had been cut open, and the video surveillance system damaged. Coughman, 31, told police he had found the place that way earlier in the day and reported it to his insurance company, but not to police.

Black spray paint and a crowbar that matched marks on the back door were found in Coughman's truck, police said, per the Journal Constitution. "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," a spokesperson said, "and sell off the undamaged appliances and electronics." Coughman, an offensive tackle for several NFL teams through 2016, per the Gwinnett Daily Post, faces charges including insurance fraud and filing a false report of a crime. (Read more hate crimes stories.)

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