CLEVES, Ohio (FOX19) - A Loveland disc jockey is accused of drinking, police said, at a Kentucky High School event meant to deter drinking on graduation night.
FOX19 met Denis Rhodes while he was out on a sales call in Cleves for his day job. He works as a disc jockey part-time and has enjoyed it for more than a decade.
"Tonight, I’m a DJ at North Oldham High School,” said Rhodes in a Facebook video the night of the teen event near Louisville.
It was Rhodes’ first and ultimately last DJ gig he will ever do involving teens, he says.
“I never want to do another one again,” he said.
“Going to do some DJ stuff for a bunch of little, future adults,” he said in the Facebook video around 9 p.m. Saturday evening, at the school’s “Project Graduation” program, which provides adult-supervised, alcohol-free activities.
"I was scared to death before I did the event. I don’t normally work with kids. I do adult parties,” said Rhodes, who was asked to fill in and was afraid he would not have the right playlist for the young adults.
He says the typical age range at the parties he plays are 40s, 50s, 60s, and so forth.
At this recent school event, Rhodes had brought some Gatorade to keep cool as it was a hot evening. He admits he mixed vodka into the bottle.
"I basically stayed back by my DJ booth, working the music, keeping the songs going,” said Rhodes.
In a report, deputies said he smelled strongly of alcohol and was slurring his words.
“And stumbling around,” said Rhodes.
“Were you?” we asked.
“No!” he said emphatically. “No, I was not stumbling around. I truly believe, these are high school kids, if they would have seen me stumbling around and looking like an obvious drunk, I’m certain, in this day and age with all these video cameras, there’d have been videos and pictures of it, and there wasn’t any.”
Rhodes started setting up and working the event at 4:30 Saturday night. At 2 a.m. Sunday morning, he said someone had complained and he was arrested by 2:20 a.m.
"I had 40 minutes to go, I was almost at the end,” said Rhodes.
He's charged with public intoxication, drinking in public and possessing drug paraphernalia, a CBD oil pen.
"I was really nervous, but I never pulled it out, I never took a hit on it, it was just CBD oil pen,” said Rhodes, who did not even know it was in the pocket of his jacket.
"It's a CBD vape pen, I have no idea how the marijuana residue works, I ordered it online and have had it for a few months. I don't know if CBD tests positive for marijuana or not, no clue,” said Rhodes.
Rhodes said he's sorry and hopes he will be forgiven.
"I did spend four years in the Marine Corps. I know what zero tolerance is, so I’m just hoping that they’ll see it was a bad judgement error, but I’m not a habitual criminal,” said Rhodes. "And looking back on it, I, I know, I know what I did wrong as far as possession of the alcohol.”
Oldham County Schools released a statement saying: “It’s unfortunate that an individual hired by Project Graduation to perform at an event designed to be a safe, drug-free environment for students made such a poor decision.”
But Rhodes said school leaders who were at the event told him the kids had had a great time and told him: “Good job!”
Rhodes said he has apologized over and over. He goes back to court in Oldham County on June 24.