Former NFL player accused of faking hate crime by spray-painting racist slurs and MAGA graffiti at his business

Tanya Edwards
Police say Edawn Louis Coughman staged a hate crime. (Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department)

A former NFL player allegedly painted racist slurs on the walls and destroyed his Georgia business in an attempt to stake a fake hate crime and burglary, the New York Daily News reports.

Edawn Louis Coughman, 31, who played for several NFL teams from 2012 to 2016, including the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals, was arrested on Thursday.

Authorities said in a release that officers were called to the Create and Bake Restaurant and Coughman’s Creamery on Duluth Highway on Wednesday to a report of burglary in progress.

Video: Text Messages Reveal Frustration by Chicago Prosecutors

Officers later went into the business and found graffiti including swastikas, “MAGA” and racist terms like “monkey” and the N-word spray-painted on the walls, among other damage.

In a press statement, Cpl. Michele Pihera said a shopping plaza maintenance worker saw someone burglarizing the restaurant late Wednesday evening and called police, adding that the alleged burglar was driving a black Silverado with no license plates. Police pulled over the truck thinking it could be a suspect in the burglary, and saw that Coughman was driving.

The graffiti included a spray-painted "MAGA." (Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department)

"We're so fortunate that somebody saw something weird, saw something suspicious and called us," Pihera told WSB-TV. "That's when they asked him about it, and he said he's the owner of the business.”

Police searched the back of Coughman’s truck and found several flat-screen TVs that looked strange.

"The TVs were still attached to brackets and damaged drywall,” the department said in a release provided to Yahoo.

Coughman's vehicle carried several TVs. (Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department)

Officers checked the inside of the restaurant and speculated that the TVs were probably ripped off the wall. They described the paint used on the graffitied walls as being fresh, and claim that when they inspected Coughman's hands, they saw black spray paint.

According to the police department, Coughman contacted his insurance company directly after the incident. “He told officers that he noticed the damage and theft of equipment earlier in the day. He said that he called his insurance company to report the incident, but he did not call 911,” the department said in a release.

"He had reported this incident to his insurance company prior to officers conducting that first pull-over," Pihera told WBS-TV. "He was attempting to leave that shopping center when our officers conducted that felony stop. Everything lined up for this perfect arrest."

According to WBS-TV, Coughman’s business partner, another NFL player, was arrested for selling alcohol after hours in their business without a license.

Coughman has been bonded out of jail. He's facing three charges including insurance fraud, making a false report and a tag violation for taking his plate off.

The Yelp page for the Lawrenceville business has been flooded with negative reviews referencing the incident. No one answered the phone at the business when Yahoo called for comment.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.