An heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune was charged with assault after allegedly intervening when he saw his son and a fellow 6th-grader in a fight in Missouri.
Billy Busch, 58, was charged with 4th-degree assault, reported Fox 2.
Authorities said in a police report that Busch’s son and another 6th-grader at Chaminade College Preparatory were in line to play basketball when a fight broke out between the two.
Police officers wrote that Busch approached the boy fighting his son and hit him before dragging him out of the gym.
Busch held the boy, who had a bloody nose from being struck, against the wall until basketball coach Mike Kelly approached and told Busch to leave the school.
The incident took place on Nov. 16, 2017.
The incident was allegedly caught on camera, with footage being turned over to the Creve Coeur Police Department.
In a statement through his lawyer, Busch said his son was being “bullied” by the student before being “sucker-punched.”
“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 lawyer said.
“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.”
The family of the other student initially declined to comment but said the statement from Busch’s lawyer required a response. Derek Falb, the father of the boy, said in a statement obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Busch’s statement was “inaccurate for several reasons.”
“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,” Falb wrote.
“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.”
Falb said his family doesn’t intend to sue Busch but are cooperating with authorities in the criminal investigation.
Falb’s son told investigators that he was pushed into a wall and the back of his head hit the wall, causing his nose to bleed.
Busch is the great-grandson of Adolphus Busch, who founded the Anheuser-Busch brewing empire. The company makes a number of popular beers, including Budweiser, Bud Light, and Stella Artois.