Ethan Couch Caught in Mexico | Dallas Observer


"Affluenza" Teen Ethan Couch Reportedly Apprehended In Mexico

According to information first reported by CNN, Tarrant County's Ethan Couch and his mother, Tonya, have been arrested in the Mexican beach resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Couch, sentenced to 10 years probation in 2013 four killing four in a drunk driving incident, has been on the run since video surfaced earlier this month that appeared to show him violating the terms of his probation by participating in a game of beer pong. After the video appeared during the first week of December, he missed a probation appointment, opening himself up to the possibility of a 10-year prison sentence. 

The Couches had as much as a two-week head start before a warrant was issued for Ethan. Last week, Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson — who could not confirm the CNN report Monday night — speculated that the duo could've left the country. The U.S. marshals and FBI were called in, and everyone was told to look for Tonya Couch's black Ford F-150.

After the Couches' disappearance, Frank Ahearn, a skip-tracer and the best-selling author of How to Disappear, told the Observer that he expected they'd be caught in about a week. He said then that because of the amount of publicity Couch's case has received — both his trial and subsequent attempt at going on the lam went viral because his defense team has claimed that he wasn't responsible for his actions because of his boundary-free, wealthy childhood — tourist friendly areas, like, say, Puerto Vallarta, wouldn't be safe for the convicted killer. Too many people read the news, even when they're on vacation, Ahearn said. 

Even if it wasn't actually Couch in the beer pong video, he's almost certainly violated his probation at this point. As a juvenile probationer, he wasn't allowed to leave the county without permission, much less the country.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young

Latest Stories