State police lab testing of blood taken from August Busch IV in July after he landed a helicopter in a Swansea parking lot with four loaded handguns and eight small dogs aboard, have come up negative for alcohol or drugs.
The toxicology results were released Wednesday by St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly.
The Aug. 28th report stated that no traces of, “... ethanol, methanol, acetone, isopropanol, amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cocaine metabolite, opiates or PCP,” were detected in the blood of the former CEO of beer giant Anheuser-Busch.
Busch was temporarily held by Swansea police after the helicopter landing, but he was not charged.
“The Swansea Police Department submitted their case for review to the state’s attorney’s office,” Kelly said in a written statement Wednesday. “The case has been taken under advisement and we have asked the Swansea P.D. to seek additional information related to the process that is ongoing with the Federal Aviation Administration.”
Kelly declined further comment about the matter but complimented the Swansea officers for their, “high degree of professionalism and commitment to public safety.”
Busch, who is licensed to fly helicopters, landed a leased chopper at the Bronze Point parking lot in the afternoon but tried to take off about eight hours later. A passerby called police stating that an “intoxicated male was getting into a helicopter and attempting to fly away,” according to St. Clair County court documents.
His wife, Dawna M. Wood, was sitting beside him in the chopper when a Swansea officer signaled to Busch to turn the engine off. The documents state that she told the officer her husband had anxiety issues but was off his medications due to fertility treatments.
The officer eventually searched Busch and, finding nothing, was given permission to search the aircraft. The officer’s report stated that he found a Ruger .22-caliber revolver, a Ruger .357-caliber Magnum revolver, a Glock .357-caliber Magnum and a gun that shot pepper spray. All were loaded, according to the officer’s report.
Citizens earlier said they saw eight small, black and white dogs being taken from the helicopter after it first landed, and that the dogs then were placed in a black SUV.
The News-Democrat filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Swansea Police Department for access to any video or audio recordings and reports pertaining to the matter.
Swansea Police Chief Steve Johnson, who could not be reached Wednesday, has said the newspaper’s request must first undergo scrutiny from the village’s lawyer and then from the state Attorney General’s office. Busch’s lawyer has asked that the records not be released under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a federal law that prevents certain medical records from being made public.
Don Craven, attorney for the Illinois Press Association, has said police departments “are not covered entities under HIPAA, and the records should be produced. Public resources should not be abused in this instance, and the department should simply release the records.”
The newspaper has not yet obtained the records.