Houston-area man dies in police custody after marijuana arrest


Richard David Benefiel.

A Deer Park, Texas man died from an “unknown substance” while in jail for simple marijuana possession over the weekend.
Richard David Benefiel was arrested early Sunday morning after cops found in his his car with the hood up on a half-abandoned dirt road in League City, Texas. According to police, Benefiel was visibly intoxicated when they showed up. Cops say they couldn’t determine what he was so messed up on, but seem to imply it wasn’t just marijuana possibly could have been a really, really wicked alcohol detox.

Everyone knows marijuana helps a hangover, so who can blame him for having some cannabis on hand. Other than the League City Police, that is. No doubt in part due to not being able to arrest him for drunk driving since they didn’t actually see him driving, the police arrested him on the pot charges.
And here’s where things get dicey. The police clearly saw he was intoxicated or coming down hard off of something and needed help because they asked Benefiel several times if he needed medical help. Benefiel declined, but clearly if the guy wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be let loose it seems like it might have been a good idea to put him on some sort of medical watch or take him to the hospital for a mandatory medical hold.
Instead, they let him go through with being booked into jail. By about 6 p.m. Benefiel had come to his senses enough to ask for medical help, but by this time it was too late. An EMT unit came, but Benefiel had passed out. He was taken to a nearby hospital by about 6:40, and pronounced dead about 50 minutes later, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Police haven’t released much information as of yet, but say that there was no foul play involved. It doesn’t seem like there was any humanity involved either.
An autopsy is pending.