Anheuser-Busch heir William "Billy" Busch said stories about his alleged assault of a sixth-grader are "greatly exaggerated" and "blown out of proportion" in a statement issued Sunday evening.
On Saturday, Creve Couer police said 58-year-old Busch grabbed an 11-year-old boy and pushed him against a wall Nov. 16 during an altercation between Busch's son and the boy. The sixth-graders were at basketball practice at Chaminade College Preparatory School when they started fighting, police said in a news release.
Think Tank PR, a firm representing Busch and his company, issued the following statement from Busch:
“I want to set the record straight regarding recent news stories written about me that have been greatly exaggerated and blown out of proportion.
I did not punch, slap, strike or cause physical harm to a middle school student.
As a father who saw a student bully and sucker punch my son at a basketball practice, I intervened and removed the young man from the gym after he also slapped me in the face.
The school’s video of the event clearly shows that I did not strike, punch, hit, or cause physical harm to the young man and that my intention was not malicious, but rather was an attempt to protect my son.”
The incident was caught on camera in November and reported to the Missouri Department of Social Services Children’s Division, which then turned it over to the Creve Coeur Police Department, according to Fox 2 News.
Busch and the boy were broken up by other adults who were watching the practice, and based on statements from witnesses along with other evidence, a summons was issued to Busch for fourth-degree assault, police said in the release.
Police told the BND on Monday morning there was no mug shot of Busch in this case, saying he was given a municipal court summons and no physical arrest occurred.
Busch's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, issued a statement Saturday in response to the charges, saying Busch "did not act with any maliciousness, and that his actions were directed at protecting the safety of his son and others involved."
Rosenblum said he would represent Busch in Creve Coeur Municipal Court on Wednesday, according to the Riverfront Times.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the father of the boy Busch allegedly assaulted issued a response to Rosenblum's statement.
"Mr. Busch's behavior was highly inappropriate," Derek Falb said in the email to the Post-Dispatch. "For Mr. Rosenblum to excuse Mr. Busch’s behavior as without malice and as something any father would do is ridiculous. The actions and language used by Mr. Busch during the incident and as documented on the school’s video clearly and incontrovertibly show otherwise."
Busch is the great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch founder Adolphus Busch and son of the late Anheuser-Busch leader August A. Busch, although he never worked at Anheuser-Busch. William Busch founded William K. Busch Brewing Co., which produces the Kräftig beer brand, in 2011.
In 1981, prosecutors declined to press charges after Busch allegedly bit off another man's ear during a late-night brawl outside a south St. Louis County tavern.
In 1982, Busch was charged with assault of a restaurant employee who claimed Busch reached through the drive-in window and hit him. Busch was acquitted.
In July 2017, August Adolphus Busch IV, the former CEO of Anheuser-Busch, was arrested in Swansea when police prevented him from taking off in a helicopter that contained four loaded guns, eight dogs and prescription pills.
Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6