Metro-East News

Anheuser-Busch heir charged with assaulting sixth-grader

Anheuser-Busch heir William Busch was charged with fourth-degree assault and is set to appear in court Wednesday. He is the president and CEO of the William K. Busch Brewing Co., makers of Kraftig beers.
Anheuser-Busch heir William Busch was charged with fourth-degree assault and is set to appear in court Wednesday. He is the president and CEO of the William K. Busch Brewing Co., makers of Kraftig beers.

Anheuser-Busch heir William "Billy" Busch was charged with assault of a sixth-grade boy, who police say he attacked at his son's school in Creve Coeur.

Creve Coeur police say Busch, 58, grabbed an 11-year-old and pushed him against a wall Nov. 16 during an altercation between Busch's son and the boy, according to a news release. The sixth-graders were at basketball practice at Chaminade College Preparatory School when they started fighting, police said.

Busch and the boy were broken up by other adults who were watching the practice, KMOV reported.

The incident was caught on camera 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.

Based on statements from witnesses along with other evidence, a summons was issued to Busch for fourth-degree assault, police said in the press release.

Busch's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, issued a statement in response to the charges, according to KMOV.

"Mr. Busch was unfortunately confronted last November with a situation where his son was bullied — actually sucker-punched — by a much larger middle school student directly in front of him during a school basketball practice," the statement said, according to Fox 2 News. "School personnel failed to react, so he did what every parent would have done in that situation. The school's video of the event clearly shows that Mr. 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.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the father, Derek Falb, issued the following statement in an email:

"First, the statement attempts to paint a grown man with a history of erratic behavior (such as biting a man’s ear off) who physically assaulted an 11-year-old boy as a sympathetic figure.

"Second, it attempts to paint the victim as a bully when it was Mr. Busch’s son who was the initial aggressor in the incident between the two boys. It just so happens in this instance, Mr. Busch’s son instigated an altercation with another middle schooler of his same age and grade level who defended himself. While Mr. Busch may not have liked seeing his son receive a dose of his own medicine, him attempting to resolve his son’s conflict with another 11-year-old boy, let alone physically, is shameful. When the victim's father pulled Mr. Busch off his son and confronted him, Mr. Busch’s behavior changed dramatically and he was clearly more comfortable addressing an 11-year-old boy than another grown man.

"Third, it suggests the school failed to react. In fact, the school administration and basketball program acted swiftly and decisively in calming the situation, investigating what happened and removing Mr. Busch and his son from the facility. The school’s response could not have been better."

White lights outline trees and buildings, including the iconic clock tower, at Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis around Christmastime. Steve Nagy

"In summary, Mr. Busch's behavior was highly inappropriate. 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. The fact is a grown man manhandled a child in response to an altercation his son initiated but could not finish. We have no ill will toward Mr. Busch's son and wish him the best."

Falb, in the statement, said the family does not intend to sue Busch for his actions, but planned to cooperate with prosecutors.

Busch is the great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch founder Adolphus Busch and son of the late Anheuser-Busch leader August A. 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.

An unknown pilot was brought to the Bronze Pointe office park parking lot in Swansea by an SUV with Missouri plates around 10:45 am, performed a brief pre-flight check, then flew out at about 11 am. August Adolphus Busch IV, the former CEO of Anhe

Kaley Johnson: 618-239-2526, @KaleyJohnson6