National News

August Busch IV taken into custody after helicopter lands in parking lot

Posted July 11

— Former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV was taken into police custody Monday after trying to fly his helicopter while intoxicated in Illinois, police said Tuesday.

Swansea police said a helicopter landed for an unknown reason at 1 Bronze Point in Swansea around 12:50 p.m. Monday. Hours later, the pilot returned to the helicopter and a witness called police, stating the man seemed to be intoxicated. When an officer arrived, the helicopter's rotors were spinning and the engine was revving up.

The officer used the emergency lights on the squad car and the pilot powered down the engine, according to police. A second officer arrived at scene and pilot standardized field sobriety tests were performed on the pilot. He consented to a breathalyzer, and blew a .000, according to police.

Police said Busch seemed confused during the search and police asked if they could perform a search of him and the helicopter, to which he obliged. Police said he appeared to be under the influence of prescription medication. Police said they found several guns and prescription drugs inside the helicopter. Busch IV said he has a conceal carry permit out of Missouri.

Busch was taken into custody and the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office issued a search warrant for the blood, urine, breath and other bodily substances of the pilot. He has not been charged.

"We have been in close communications and coordination with the FAA and the St. Clair County State's Attorney's Office," said Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson. "This is not your normal case that a street police officer handles. The safety and security of the community, the pilot and passenger were of the utmost concern."

Busch was released from custody on Tuesday afternoon, police say.

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