Arkansas Fire Captain Slipped Hallucinogens Before Casino Fight, Lawyer Claims

A now-former fire captain involuntarily ingested hallucinogens before he got into a fight with an Asian man, court documents claim. The confrontation took place outside of Oaklawn Casino in Hot Springs, Ark. last March.

During the struggle, Snodgrass allegedly hurled racial insults at an Asian man
During the struggle, Snodgrass allegedly hurled racial insults at an Asian man
Benjamin Snodgrass, pictured above. His attorneys claim he was given hallucinogens before getting into a fight at an Arkansas casino in March. He faces two charges. (Image: KHBS)

Defense attorneys for Benjamin Snodgrass, 44, suggest he was “involuntarily intoxicated” during the struggle, KFTA, a local TV station reported. If he was under the influence of such a drug, he was not responsible for his actions in the fight, his attorneys said.

It’s a miracle that after being dosed with a hallucinogen Mr. Snodgrass was not more severely injured while the first responders of Garland County failed him,” KFTA reported from a document filed by his attorney.

Also, Snodgrass drank about 10 beverages that night. Each contained alcohol, the report said.

Earlier, Snodgrass said he did not remember being involved in the fight, the report adds. But prosecutors rejected suggestions that Snodgrass was involuntarily on hallucinogens that night. In a brief, they say he might have consumed ecstasy, also known as MDMA.

“It is possible that the Defendant took MDMA voluntarily and is unable to remember taking it. There is no evidence and no testimony that anyone in the bar had any motivation to drug him,” the brief said, KFTA reported.

Racist Rant Alleged

During the struggle, Snodgrass allegedly hurled racial insults and threatened to kill Nguyen.

I’m going to kill you and kill your kind of people,” Snodgrass reportedly told Nguyen.

Snodgrass also allegedly told him, “Your kind of people is not supposed to be here,” Nguyen said.

Snodgrass then allegedly physically attacked Nguyen. Nguyen fought back.

Both Snodgrass and Nguyen suffered injuries in the March 13 struggle. Snodgrass had a bloody left earlobe, bloody lips, and redness on his knuckles, police said. Nguyen suffered a red mark below his left eye, a scratch on his right knee, and his shirt was ripped open.

Snodgrass’ eyes were bloodshot and watery. He also smelled like alcohol, according to a police report quoted by local media. Snodgrass appeared incoherent and complained of the situation in the casino.

I don’t know, man, they are pumping gasses into this place, and something is not right,” Snodgrass told an officer that night, news reports said. When asked about the confrontation, Snodgrass replied, “I don’t know guys, I’m hammered.”

Snodgrass was charged with third-degree battery and public intoxication. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Resigned Job, Apologized

Following the incident, Snodgrass quit his job as a Bentonville, Ark. fire captain. In a statement, he “expressed regret” and apologized for the incident.

He worked at the department for more than 13 years. In March, Snodgrass was released from the Garland County Jail. He posted a $1,500 bond.

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