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Ex-Anheuser Busch CEO Found In Helicopter Carrying 4 Guns, 8 Dogs And Prescription Pills

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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Jack Crowe Political Reporter
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Former Anheuser Busch CEO Augustus Adolphus Busch IV had four loaded guns, eight dogs and a variety of prescription pills in his helicopter when police prevented him from taking off from a parking lot in Swansea, Ill.

The helicopter landed at 12:48 p.m. Monday, and eight hours later the Swansea police received a call reporting that an “intoxicated male was getting into the helicopter and attempting to fly away,” according to a search warrant obtained by the Benneville News Democrat.

Swansea police officer Cheryl Venorsky arrived as Busch was preparing to take off. She turned on her emergency lights, prompting him to shut down the helicopter.

Officer Jason Frank then arrived on scene and “observed August Adolphus Busch IV to be unable to keep a single train of thought,” Frank wrote in a sworn affidavit. “I noticed August Adolphus Busch IV appeared anxious.”

Frank administered a breathalyzer test, which Busch passed by blowing a .00. Frank then asked Busch to complete a series of field sobriety tests.

After being told he was not allowed to take off, due to suspicions that he was intoxicated, Busch informed Frank that he had a concealed carry permit and had a loaded Rohrbaugh R9 9mm in his pocket. Frank placed the gun in the helicopter and called Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson.

Johnson arrived on scene and the police conducted a search of Busch’s helicopter that yielded four bottles of prescription pills, two of which were anxiety medications prescribed to Busch, and the remaining two were prescribed to his wife.

At some point during the search Busch became agitated, telling officers he was having a panic attack and running sprints, saying he was trying to get oxygen to combat his panic attack.

After calming down, Busch allowed Frank to pat search him. Frank recovered a pepper spray gun, a Ruger .22 revolver, a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver and a Glock .357 Magnum, all of which were loaded. He was then given a second field sobriety test and was subsequently arrested and taken to the Swansea Police Department.

Busch, who is the great-great grandson of Anheuser Busch founder Adolphus Busch, was involved in an altercation in January over a parking spot, in which he drew his gun but kept it pointed at the ground. He was not charged in connection with the dispute, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

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