Facing an assault charge, Billy Busch says he merely "removed" a sixth-grader from a school gym after the boy fought with his son.
In a new statement, the beleaguered Anheuser-Busch heir defended himself against allegations he manhandled the eleven-year-old in November. He claims he saw the boy "sucker punch" his son during basketball practice at Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur.
Busch was issued a summons in December for simple assault. The Riverfront Times broke the news of the charges on Friday, and details of the allegations quickly spread to national news outlets. Busch claims the reports "have been greatly exaggerated and blown out of proportion."
"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," he says.
He claims video of the incident will show he acted appropriately, though a Creve Coeur detective who viewed the footage describes a far uglier scene.
In a written report obtained by the RFT Friday, the detective says the video shows Busch get involved after the two boys were pushing and trying to slap each other. The 58-year-old grabs his son's young adversary by the front of the shirt and drags him from the gym, police say.
"At this point, [the boy] appears to take a swing at Busch in an effort to get away," the report says.
Busch continued pushing the boy out of the gym and pinned him against a wall before an adult intervened, the report says. The boy told investigators his nose began to bleed when his head hit the wall.
The RFT has filed a Sunshine request for the video.
Busch's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, issued a statement over the weekend, which also claimed his client intervened to stop a bully. The boy's father, however, says it was Busch's son who was the instigator. The father, Derek Falb, says he had to pull Busch off his son.
He called Busch's actions "shameful" and said he and his family would cooperate with prosecutors.
"The fact is, a grown man manhandled a child in response to an altercation his son initiated but could not finish," Falb said, adding, "We have no ill will toward Mr. Busch's son and wish him the best."
We previously published Falb's full statement. Read it here.
Read Busch's full statement below:
I want to set the record straight regarding recent news stories written about me that have been greatly exaggerated and blown out of proportion.We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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.