Chef Stephen "Dean" Corbett releases statement on arrest

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A high-profile Louisville restaurateur has been charged with drug trafficking, according to Louisville Metro Police.

Stephen D. Corbett -- who goes by S. Dean Corbett, professionally -- was taken into custody shortly before 10:30 Thursday night. According to an arrest report, an officer was near the Rolling Hills Apartments on Blossom Lane at Langdon Drive, when he saw Corbett, "making a hand-to-hand transaction."

Police say an unknown person walked up to the vehicle and placed their right arm inside, "for approximately two seconds."

The vehicle -- a 2011 black Mercedes Benz -- then left the location and turned onto Goose Creek Road, according to police.

"This location is a known area for drug trafficking," the report states.

The officers followed the vehicle and stopped it at the corner of Goose Creek Road and Brownsboro Road, "after observing the subject vehicle swerving on the roadway," police say.

They allegedly found Corbett inside. Police say he told them he was, "eating pizza," and that's why he was swerving.

"When asked about the transaction the subject stated he was completing an agreed swap of Vicodin," police say.

He's been charged with drug trafficking.

Corbett is the owner and founder of Corbett's: An American Place, a restaurant on Norton Healthcare Blvd. near I-71 and I-265. He is also known for founding Equus & Jack's Lounge.

The Equus & Jack's Lounge Web site indicates that Corbett had started a radio show called "Chefboyardean."  The show is scheduled to air every Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on 1080 Talk Radio WKJK

Corbett released this statement Friday night:

March 9, 2012

Statement from Chef S. Dean Corbett:

Last night, as many of you have heard, I was arrested.  The charge is trafficking in a controlled substance, Vicodin. I would like to take a moment to explain the events that occurred last night and ask that the media and public please use compassion and understanding before judging me.

I have suffered from chronic pain for over fifteen years, with two back surgeries, a cervical fusion and kidney cancer.  My surgeon would like for me to have a lower spinal fusion within the next ten months in order to alleviate the discomfort I feel on a daily basis. I've made no secret about being on back pain medicine in order to maintain three restaurants and a produce company. I am under the care of several doctors and have an authorized prescription for Vicodin. Many chefs have had similar back surgeries due to the amount of time they spend on their feet on concrete surfaces and are on similar medication. Those who know me, know that I am a highly productive, focused and hard working individual who doesn't want to be sidelined by chronic pain.

Several weeks ago, I lent some of my Vicodin to a former chef who was on the same medication as me. He is in stage 3 Esophageal Cancer and in severe pain. He promised to return the Vicodin when he was able to refill his prescription. I did not realize at the time that was inappropriate. I have never sold nor ever will sell medications. I apologize to my family, my friends, the loyal customers of my restaurants and my produce company, and to the Louisville community. 

I would like to ask the public to please not just believe what you read or hear in the media. I love this community and always strive to give back.  I ask for understanding and privacy for myself and my family while this matter is handled by our court system.

Thank You,

Chef Deano

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