Published: Thu, July 13, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

August Busch IV is investigated for office park 'copter landing

August Busch IV is investigated for office park 'copter landing

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The weird incident began Monday afternoon, when Swansea Police officers responded to reports of a helicopter landing in an office complex parking lot for an "unknown reason", according to a department press release.

Police say he tried to fly off in his helicopter from an office park parking lot in Swansea while appearing to be intoxicated. When an officer arrived, the helicopter's rotors were spinning and the engine was revving up.

Officer Jason Frank then spotted Busch, 53, leaning against Venorsky's squad vehicle, saying Busch was "unable to keep a single train of thought", according to a sworn affidavit.

The Swansea Police Department contacted Officer Birkhead with the Fairview Heights Police Department, a drug recognition expert. He consented to a breathalyzer, and blew a.000, according to police.

Police conducted more tests. According to police, a breath test showed the 53-year-old man had not been drinking alcohol, but he failed field sobriety tests. August Busch IV's companion, Dawna Wood, told police that Busch had anxiety issues and was not taking his medication because he was undergoing fertility treatments.

Court records indicate that officers believe that Busch may have been under the influence of a controlled substance.

A witness, Keith Padgett, told Fox2Now that he thought the helicopter might hit something as it descended.

Busch told officers that he had a hide carry license and had a Rohrbaugh R9 9mm in the front pocket of his trousers. He told them that the weapon was, "hot". After searching him, they found a gun in his trousers, which was immediately removed, as well as Dexamethasone in his pocket. Police discovered a loaded Ruger LCR 22 LR revolver, a Ruger SP101.357 Magnum revolver with four live rounds, and a loaded Glock Austria.357 with one round in the chamber. The prescription was for August's wife.

Those prescribed to Busch were for a minor tranquilizer marketed under Xanax, the News-Democrat reported, and Clonazepam, which is used to treat panic attacks. He began jumping and running sprints saying that he needed more oxygen to deal with the attack.

A search of the helicopter turned up several weapons.

Officers found three other loaded guns while searching the helicopter, along with several other bottles of prescription drugs. They say he was unable to focus and they placed him under arrest.

Busch declined to provide fluid samples to check for intoxication, and police applied for a warrant to obtain them. St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly said his office is awaiting toxicology results before deciding whether to file charges. This is not your normal case that a street police officer handles. Family members are contacting another pilot to remove the helicopter.

The arrest occurred after Busch landed a helicopter in a strip mall parking lot in Swansea, Ill., located about 30 minutes east of St. Louis, Mo.

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