Former Anheuser-Busch CEO arrested for allegedly trying to fly a helicopter while intoxicated

Anheuser-Busch’s former chief of staff, August Busch IV, was arrested in Swansea, Illinois for allegedly attempting to steal a drunken helicopter, according to court documents. It is not clear whether the state prosecutor’s office filed charges against him.

The events that led to his arrest began Monday afternoon just before 1 pm when police responded to a report that a helicopter landed in a parking lot “for unknown reasons,” according to a statement from the police department Swansea . The helicopter was already on the ground when agents arrived, and the Federal Aviation Administration was called to investigate.

It is not clear if Busch was the pilot who landed the helicopter.
Around 8 pm, police were sent back to the scene after a caller said a pilot returned to the plane and that “he seemed too drunk to take off.”

The rotors of the helicopter came back and returned the engine when a squad car arrived, said the department. Busch, who was identified as the pilot in the court papers, was accompanied by a woman who identified herself as his wife.

After conducting a series of sobriety tests on the ground, the officers detained Busch and took him to the hospital for blood, urine, and breathing tests. He was detained until Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement from the Swansea Police.

A search of the helicopter produced several prescription drugs, a pepper spray and three charged firearms. Busch, who told police he had hidden a Missouri transportation license, also carried a gun in his person.

“This is not the usual case of a street cop running,” said Steve Johnson, the head of the Swansea police statement. “The safety and security of the community, the pilot and the passengers were more concerned.”

Cam Wiggs was at work Monday when he saw a helicopter land in the parking lot outside his office.

“One of the strangest things I’ve ever seen,” said Wiggs CNN. “It was really an unstable landing. I assumed it was an emergency landing because it was so fragile.”
Anheuser-Busch declined to comment on the incident. The old part is not currently affiliated with the company.

Busch was named general manager of the American Brewing Behemoth in 2006. He was at the helm when Belgian InBev designed a takeover in 2008.

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