Metro Louisville

The owner of a Southern Indiana zoo has been brought into custody on a felony warrant.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday that Tim Stark was arrested in Washington County, New York. Stark was wanted on charges that included felony intimidation against a law enforcement officer.

“This is just the beginning of a process that we hope will lead to Stark being held accountable for his wrongdoings,” said Attorney General Curtis Hill in a statement applauding Stark’s arrest. “We look forward to Stark’s extradition to Indiana so that he may have his day in court.”

The charges stem from an incident in March when Stark allegedly threatened Indiana Deputy Attorney General Phillip Rizzo. The News and Tribune reports that on Oct. 1, Indiana officials brought attention to a video on Stark’s Facebook page in which he acknowledged defying the warrant while brandishing a hand grenade.

The arrest is the latest in a string of legal challenges this year faced by Stark and his Charlestown zoo Wildlife in Need, which was known for allowing the public to interact with big cats. A separate warrant was issued by the state Sept. 16 for Stark’s alleged removal of animals from WIN.

Authorities had been in the process of transferring the animals to Indianapolis Zoo. More than 160 animals had been removed from Stark’s property over the course of a week, but many others were unable to be located at the premises, including spider monkeys, cougars and porcupines. A box truck holding $50,000 worth of animals without proper food, water and ventilation was eventually found on a nearby property, though some of the missing animals remain unfound.

Stark lost a lawsuit to PETA in August, forcing him to give up his big cats and end public interactions with them. The permanent injunction found that 22 tigers, lions and hybrids were “wounded, harmed, and/or harassed” through declawing and another 53 were prematurely separated from their mothers. Two cubs died from their injuries.

Stark also appeared in the Netflix documentary Tiger King.

John Boyle is a reporter and editor at WFPL news focused on Southern Indiana. He is a corps member with Report For America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.