UPDATE: Charges against Red Bull Air Race official dismissed

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On March 27, 2019, the resisting law enforcement and public intoxication charges that William Cruickshank was facing were dismissed.


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind – A top official with the Red Bull Air Race was arrested in downtown Indianapolis, just hours after the race thrilled fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway over the weekend.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police arrested 51-year-old William Cruickshank after getting a call from a member of the cleaning staff at the Palomino Restaurant around 3:30 a.m. Monday.

“Officers were dispatched to 49 West Maryland Street, on an individual trying to break into the Palomino Restaurant,” said IMPD officer Aaron Hamer.

Hamer said officers observed Cruickshank to be intoxicated when they approached him near the entrance to the Palomino. It’s not clear why Cruickshank was allegedly trying to get into the restaurant, but Hamer says Cruickshank’s interaction with officers prompted his arrest.

“He went on several rants and he refused to cooperate with the investigation,” Hamer said. “He was fighting against the officers, he was trying to pull away from them as they were talking to him.”

Cruickshank was arrested on preliminary charges of public intoxication, criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement. He was being held in the Marion County lockup for processing Monday.

By all accounts, Cruickshank is a highly respected, expert pilot. An online profile says he served in the British Royal Air Force on deployments to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since retiring in 2010, he has flown with the England-based Wildcats Aerobatics Team. Currently, he serves as Director of Aviation and Sport with the Red Bull Air Race.

As Director of Aviation and Sport, Cruickshank is responsible for designing race courses and training the daring pilots who thrill about 300 million fans.

Just after 5 p.m. Monday, Red Bull Air Race officials released a statement:

“We can confirm that an off-duty member of the Air Race team was arrested in the morning of Monday 8 September, 2018 in Indianapolis. The matter is being dealt with by the relevant authorities.”

Cruickshank was ordered released from custody and walked out of the Marion County lockup just after 5 p.m. Monday.  No bond was set, according to jail officials.

The Marion County Prosecutors Office will review the accusations against Cruickshank and decide on any formal charges to be filed.

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