Inside Buddy Valastro's legal troubles

Considering Buddy Valastro's status as the supreme cake decorator of the TLC television network, fans might not expect him to have such a close relationship with the cops of New York and New Jersey. But while Valastro spends most of his time frosting cakes and sculpting fondant, he manages to get into trouble in between projects. From the infamous DWI arrest that brought him fame and (mostly mis)fortune, to a lesser-known emergency call to the police from the middle of New York's harbor. 

His pastry expertise is unfortunately of little use when it comes to the law — though he certainly has tried to use his onscreen success to his advantage in all kinds of inappropriate situations. But Valastro knows when to apologize, and none of his run-ins with the law have so far been unforgivable. The Cake Boss will continue to reign over baked goods of absurd shapes and sizes until the day he commits a truly cancel-able crime — may that day never come!

Buddy Valastro's 2014 arrest stirred up quite the controversy

At 1 a.m. on November 13, 2014, the New Jersey boss of ostentatious (and mostly inedible) cakes was pulled over in New York City's West Side for suspected drunk driving. The backlash from the incident, however, has lasted to the present day. Cake Boss was in its sixth season at the point of Valastro's arrest, so the fearless leader of TLC's cake decorating show, had been an icon in the food world and beyond for some time. All of which is to say, his run-in with the law did not go unnoticed. 

People buzzed about it in the news and on Twitter, and Valastro even became the subject of a Jimmy Fallon monologue. The incident was most appropriately celebrated by former Cake Boss cast member Anthony "The Pastryarch" Albanese, who made a cake with Valastro's mugshot in the frosting. Though Valastro has long since apologized, he has not been able to escape the ghost of his past brazen self, and the debacle has gone down in history as one of TV food culture's most iconic moments. Six years later, people are still talking about it.

Buddy Valastro was caught "swerving through lanes of traffic" drunk in New York City

 Not long after his 2014 arrest, Valastro sat down for a video interview with Mario Lopez of Extra, to clear up any misinformation about how much he had to drink that night. "You hear different reports or whatever ... the truth of the matter is, I was out for a business dinner–I didn't have one glass of wine like people say," (the Cake Boss wants to be sure you know he can hold his booze) he said. "I had one too many."

Regardless of the number of glasses of wine consumed that night Valastro had clearly had too many. A New York City policeman reported "he was observed by officers swerving through lanes of traffic." That kind of behavior is certainly not one-glass-of-wine drunk, and Valastro's insistence that he had only had one drink more than he should begs asking how many he thinks is acceptable. Sure enough, soon after he was pulled over, Valastro blew a .108 on the Breathalyzer, confirming the officer's suspicions that he had surpassed the legal limit.

He tried to get out of it by telling the cops he was "the Cake Boss"

New York City cops followed Valastro for 12 blocks before he was pulled over for recklessly swerving his yellow Corvette across several lanes of traffic. He then tried to charm the cops by informing them of his status as Hoboken's resident cake celebrity. 

"You can't arrest me, I'm the Cake Boss!" he said to the policemen, a line that would live on in infamy for years to come. The officers were unimpressed and, after administering a Breathalyzer test, proceeded to take him into custody. But being the smooth-talker he is, Valastro didn't stop there and pleaded with police. "Can you just put me in a cab? You don't have to arrest me. I'm not a bad guy. Is there anything we can do?" Unfortunately, his cake decorating skills had no use for the NYPD, and they took him to the Lower East Side's 7th precinct despite his piping prowess. He was later released without bail.

He eventually plead guilty

After the arrest, Valastro pleaded guilty in Manhattan's Criminal Court. "One is too many," he said, according to the New York Times. "I will never get behind the wheel of a car again if I have a drink, even if I have a sip." Valastro's license was suspended in New York State for three months, as well as in the state of New Jersey, where he resided. The judge presiding over the case, Melissa A. Crane, also fined Valastro $300 and forced him to take a drunk driving prevention course. 

Valastro apologized for letting down his fans, claiming that he "thought [he] was fine to drive" when he got in his car. "But I wasn't and I put people in danger," Valastro confessed. He also explained the reason for the plea deal to his followers on Twitter, writing: "I plead guilty today because I wanted to make this right," he wrote. "I thought I was fine to drive, but I wasn't. I put people in danger. I am very disappointed in myself.

He's not the only member of the family who's had trouble with the law

Alright, so this may not legally involve Buddy Valastro, but it does involve a member of the Valastro clan. In 2012, Valastro's ex-brother-in-law was sentenced to nine years in prison for two counts of aggravated sexual assault. Remy Gonzalez was accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in March of 2010. The ex-husband of Buddy Valastro's sister plead guilty for these allegations, but later he tried to rescind his plea, claiming his judgment was clouded by "emotion" and that he admitted to parts of the accusation that were untrue. The judge presiding over the case refused to acknowledge this reversal from the 34-year-old.

Gonzalez appeared on Cake Boss on multiple occasions as a cake decorator and, for a short amount of time, as Buddy Valastro's sister's husband. After the accusation and arrest, there was a petition on Change.org, calling for the network to delete the episodes on which Gonzalez had appeared. According to IMDB, Gonzalez appears in a total of 42 episodes of Cake Boss.

Buddy Valastro once had to be rescued by the New York police

Not all of Buddy Valastro's experiences with the NYPD have been as scandalous as the DWI. In the summer of 2014, the Valastro family was boating with family friends in New York Harbor when they found themselves stuck in a heavy fog. "People were scared," Valastro told CNN. "I didn't know which way to look — left, right. I couldn't even see in front of me." 

Valastro had stopped the boat when the fog became too thick to see. They were trapped in the Ambrose Channel, which is a busy part of the harbor through which large commercial ships pass, putting the Valastro crew at risk of being hit. Valastro claimed he even saw one of these ships heading for his boat. 

"I saw him but I don't think he saw us. We had to get out of the way," he said. "I turned quick. It got really, really scary. I said, 'You know, it's time to call for help." The New York fire and police departments came to the rescue shortly thereafter and the Cake Boss was incredibly grateful and said he wanted to "bake them a cake." Oddly enough, Valastro said rescue teams had no idea who he was and that he wasn't the type to say "I'm the Cake Boss. The Cake Boss in distress. May Day." Of course, that changed when he tried to pull the celebrity card just a few months later. 

Buddy Valastro's liturgical experiences haven't all been dramatic

In 2010, a software company sued TLC over the rights of the name "Cake Boss." Masters Software Inc. claimed they were the first to use the name for their computer program — a business accounting software that helps home bakery businesses price recipes, create invoices, and make orders. But Masters Software created their program in 2007 — two years before Cake Boss first aired in 2009. TLC, therefore, violated a copyright law for the perfect title for Buddy Valastro's cake decorating show.

Luckily, the situation was resolved fairly quickly. A press release from the lawyer representing Masters Software stated: "The parties have agreed to resolve the matter amicably and in a confidential settlement agreement." Both the software company and TLC's best cake-based reality show were able to keep their names. Fortunately, it's not too difficult to differentiate between a show about outrageous baked goods and a computer software program — though maybe Valastro could always try out the CakeBoss program for Carlo's Bakery.