Affluenza Teen Ethan Couch Was Captured by Authorities After He Called Domino’s Pizza

Ethan Couch
Ethan Couch REUTERS/Tarrant County Sheriff's Dept /LANDOV

Get the door, it's … the police. Texas teen Ethan Couch, who was captured in Mexico this week after violating his probation by leaving the U.S., was caught by authorities due to his error: He called Domino's Pizza to place an order, according to a police report obtained by the Associated Press.

The 18-year-old and his mom, Tonya Couch, were found in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta, where they have been staying in a condo for about a month. According to the report, one of the family member's cellphones was used to place a delivery order to the condominium complex. The location was far removed from Puerto Vallarta's luxurious resort area to throw off local police.

A U.S. Marshals Service agent was able to locate Couch once the young man, dubbed the "affluenza teen," placed the call. 

According to NBC News, the break happened on Christmas Eve. Tarrant County sheriff Dee Anderson told the Today show on Wednesday exactly what went down. "On Christmas Eve, [investigators] had gotten information on the part of Puerto Vallarta they thought they were in," the sheriff told Savannah Guthrie. "We had a lot of old-fashioned police work going on."

"It wasn't a surprise to me at all he couldn't follow the rules," Anderson continued. "He's never had to follow rules. He doesn't believe in the rules. I was just surprised it didn't happen sooner."

Couch was captured late Monday, December 28, after joint cooperation with the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara, Mexico. A Mexican official, meanwhile, told the AP on Wednesday, December 30, that Couch was granted a delay against deportation from the country.

In June 2013, Couch was speeding and driving under the influence in Fort Worth, Texas, when he crashed into an off-road SUV and killed four people, as well as injuring others. Though he pleaded guilty, being 16 at the time made him eligible to be classified as a juvenile. Couch was ultimately sentenced to 10 years of probation, which he was believed to have recently violated after being caught on video at a party with booze. If his probation is revoked, the teenage fugitive could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

He became the subject of a widespread parenting debate after his legal team argued that Couch suffered from a social condition called "affluenza," which is not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. His lawyers claimed that Couch was coddled by his wealthy parents, making him susceptible to being unaware of the consequences of his actions. Hence, he was dubbed the "affluenza teen."

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