Beer Mogul Busch Jailed Overnight in Helicopter Fracas

ST. LOUIS (CN) – Former beer mogul August A. Busch IV was held overnight by Illinois police after he allegedly tried to fly his helicopter while appearing intoxicated.

A Breathalyzer test showed Busch had no alcohol in his system, but he failed field sobriety tests, according to court documents. Police were seeking blood samples from Busch, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Busch landed the helicopter at the Bronze Pointe office park in Swansea, Illinois, shortly after noon Monday. Police found the helicopter unoccupied and contacted the Federal Aviation Administration.

Swansea is 15 miles southeast of St. Louis in southern Illinois. In 2014, its population of 13,651, which has grown by 20 percent since 2000, was 74.4 percent white. Swansea’s median income is $68,695, above Illinois’ state median of $59,588.

Witnesses called police around 8 p.m., saying the pilot had returned and was attempting to leave in the helicopter.

Swansea police said in an application for a search warrant for blood samples that Busch appeared “intoxicated,” “anxious” and “unable to keep a single train of thought.”

Blood samples were taken at Belleville Memorial Hospital, but results were not yet available, the Post-Dispatch reported.

Three loaded handguns and a pepper spray gun were recovered from the helicopter. A loaded gun and several types of prescription drugs were found on Busch, who was released Tuesday afternoon.

No charges have been filed. Busch was held overnight on suspicion of reckless conduct, unlawful use of a weapon and being intoxicated “in or about an aircraft.”

Busch, 53, is the former head of Anheuser-Busch and ran the brewing giant from 2006 until it was bought out by InBev in 2008.

It is not Busch’s first run-in with the law, according to the Post-Dispatch.

In 1984, Busch was not charged criminally in an Arizona car crash that killed a 22-year-old woman.

In 1986, a jury acquitted him of third-degree assault charges from to a high-speed police chase in St. Louis.

In 2010, Adrienne Martin, Busch’s girlfriend, died of an accidental drug overdose at Busch’s estate in St. Louis County. Two years later, Busch paid $1.75 million to settle a wrongful-death civil lawsuit.

In January, police questioned Busch after he pulled a handgun during a confrontation at a Key West, Florida bank. No charges were filed and there were no injuries.

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