Former NFL player allegedly staged hate crime

Police said Friday a business owner and former NFL player allegedly staged a burglary in a restaurant he owned and vandalized the building, possibly trying to make it look like a hate crime.

Edawn Coughman, 31, of Buford owns multiple Create & Bake Pizza franchises in Gwinnett County along with Coughman’s Creamery, an ice cream shop in Lawrenceville. Police said Coughman allegedly vandalized his own business, marking it with graffiti that included the n-word, “Monkey,” “MAGA” and swastikas on the walls and booths of the restaurant in spray paint.

Cpl. Michele Pihera with Gwinnett County police said investigators have not pinpointed a motivation for the staged burglary. Police said Coughman contacted his insurance company to report damages to his businesses and did not report the crime to police until officers approached him at the scene