Ex-GOP official blames threats against wife on cough medicine: 'I went completely crazy after taking it'
Todd Kincannon (Screen capture)

A former high ranking South Carolina Republican official who was detained Thursday night after allegedly threatening his wife, says he was under the influence of a prescribed cough medicine at the time, reports the Charleston City Paper.


Todd Kincannon, a Columbia attorney and the former executive director of the S.C. Republican Party, was accused of threatening his wife while refusing to let her out of his car, according to a report from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the police report, Kincannon's wife, Ashely Suzanne Griffith, told a deputy there had been an altercation in a Chick-fil-A parking lot on the drive home. Griffith stated that she asked to get out of their car after her husband began screaming at her, saying she hit him repeatedly as he accelerated when she tried to escape. In her statement, she said Kincannon also threatened to kill himself if she left the vehicle.

In the police report, Griffith states that her husband saw a police vehicle and "freaked out," saying he would would drive the car into a concrete barrier if the cops became involved.

Although Kincannon denied grabbing his wife and threatening her, the deputy called for an EMS unit to check on him because she stated that he had threatened to kill himself. Kincannon was then transported to Lexington Medical Center for “further evaluation” and was later released.

In a statement to the City Paper, Kincannon blamed the blow-up on medication he was taking for an upper respiratory infection, saying it made him "erratic."

"I’m the kind of guy who never goes to the doctor. I finally went and was prescribed something called Benzonatate for my cough. I’d never taken it before, and took it for the first time last night," he explained. "Basically, I went completely crazy after taking it. I don’t even remember all of it."

According to Kincannon, his wife became worried and called police because, "my behavior was way out of character and erratic, and she was afraid for her safety and mine."

He went to explain that he was diagnosed with "an allergic reaction to Benzonatate. Apparently a very small percentage of people go absolutely nuts when they take the stuff, and I’m apparently in that very small percentage. I had calmed down by the time I got to LMC and they let me go after a brief evaluation."

Kincannon, was released and no charges have been filed, although his wife told sheriff's deputies that they have a “ history of unreported domestic violence," and that she is “extremely fearful” of him. She went on to  describe Kincannon as being “extremely ‘traditional’ and controlling, thus becoming very upset due to embarrassing him.”

Kincannon resigned after three months as executive director South Carolina Republican Party and has a history of making statements that have embarrassed the party, including advocating "executing" anyone who has come in contact with Ebola.

The ex-GOP official is also infamous for his offensive comments on Twitter which have seen him repeatedly banned.