A Jacksonville man became the third person this week to be charged by West Palm Beach police with “inciting a riot.”
Officers say 51-year-old Anthony Richard Couse III challenged the deputy chief to a fight and also mocked demonstrators who were protesting for change after George Floyd died last week in Minneapolis while in police custody.
The “incitement” charge against Couse is a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. He is also charged with assault on an officer and resisting arrest without violence.
Officers arrested four other people, including a juvenile, on Sunday evening. The charges range from resisting arrest to aggravated assault.
Couse remained at the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday with his bail set at $151,000.
Traffic Alert: I-95 both directions, closed at Okeechobee Blvd., Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., & Belvedere Rd. Entry/Exit ramps are closed. Okeechobee Blvd. East and West is also closed from Congress Avenue to Downtown.
— West Palm Beach PD (@WestPalmPD) May 31, 2020
According to a West Palm Beach police report, just before 8 p.m. Tuesday, at Lakeview Avenue and Quadrille Boulevard, he rode his bicycle through the crowd, confronted Deputy Police Chief Rick Morris and demanded the chief remove his uniform and fight.
He also waved his arms, apparently to encourage other protesters to join him, shouting ”(expletive) the police,” according to the arrest report.
A few demonstrators tried to block Couse’s arrest as several officers had to restrain him while he struggled with police.
According to The Palm Beach Post, Couse may originally be from West Palm Beach, and it is unclear why or when he moved to Jacksonville.