SWANSEA, Ill. (AP/KMOX) – Days after it mysteriously landed in an office complex parking lot, the helicopter August Busch IV landed in Swansea was flown from the scene of the bizarre incident.
A pilot was brought in to fly the helicopter off the lot at 1 Bronze Point on Wednesday morning.
Swansea police shared a police report of the incident on their Facebook page, writing that Monday afternoon about 12:45 p.m., officers were dispatched to a report of a helicopter landing “for an unknown reason,” at 1 Bronze Point.
Upon arrival, the helicopter was on the ground in a parking lot.
“Assessment of the area and safety of the helicopter taking off due to close obstacles and buildings was of concern. Chief Steve Johnson contacted the FAA and they advised they would investigate the landing and requested pictures and information,” the post reads.
Later that evening, about 8:15 p.m., Swansea officers were notified by a caller that the pilot had returned to the helicopter, and “appeared too intoxicated to take off.”
When an officer arrived at the scene, the helicopter’s rotors were spinning and the engine was revving up, according to police.
After the officer turned on the squad car’s emergency lights, the pilot powered down the engine.
KMOX has confirmed that the pilot of the helicopter was August Adolphus Busch IV, the former CEO of Anheuser-Busch.
Field sobriety tests were performed after a conversation with Busch, and “due to the totality of the circumstances, the pilot was taken into custody,” police say.
Busch was held in the Swansea Police Department until Tuesday afternoon, and the helicopter remained at Bronze Pointe Office Park overnight.
Busch is a commercial pilot with certificates in airplanes, single and multi-engine planes, instrument airplanes and rotocraft helicopters.
The St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office issued a search warrant for the blood, urine, or breath of the pilot.
The search warrant application said a field sobriety test did not indicate alcohol intoxication. But the document said Busch was unable to follow directions and acted erratically. His wife told officers that he was off of anxiety medication because of recent fertility treatments.
Officers believed that Busch was under the influence of a controlled substance. He was taken to a hospital for further testing.
The application said Busch told officers he had a conceal-carry license and a gun in his pocket, along with the prescription drug Dexamethasone. Police said the prescription was for his wife.
Officers found three other loaded guns and a pepper spray gun while searching the helicopter, along with several other bottles of prescription drugs.
The document said Busch told officers at one point that he was about to have a panic attack, and he began jumping and running while saying he needed more oxygen to “cope with the anxiety attack.”
In the Facebook report, Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson said:
“We have been in close communications and coordination with the FAA and the St. Clair County State’s Attorney’s Office. 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. The pilot was released from custody on 07-11-17 at 12:28 PM pending completion of the investigation. Family members are contacting another pilot to remove the helicopter.”
The investigation continues.
Series of Events
The incident created quite the scene in the quiet office complex, with people hearing of the news and stopping by to take photos with the chopper.
Keigh-Cee Bell couldn’t believe it when the helicopter descended outside a fertility clinic at the business park. A woman got out of the helicopter and 1-by-1, transferred eight Shih-Tzu dogs to a nearby SUV.
“The woman kind of came and went out of the fertility clinic,” Bell says. “But the man was in the fertility clinic for about seven hours straight.”
Cam Wiggs, an employee in the office park, live-tweeted the event.
After the helicopter landed, Wiggs tweeted that a black SUV arrived. A man got out of the SUV, and then helped a woman who looked to be in her mid-30s out of the helicopter, along with multiple dogs. The dogs were loaded into the SUV, and the woman walked into a nearby office building.
Four police cars then arrived the scene, he tweeted, and officers spoke to the man, and then left without incident.
Wiggs tweeted on Tuesday that the helicopter was still on-site, and the black SUV was replaced with a white SUV.
When asked if a helicopter is allowed to land in such a parking lot, a police spokesman said, “I can’t say whether a helicopter is allowed to land or not.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)