Tim Stark

Tim Stark, founder of Wildlife in Need

CLARK COUNTY — A Clark County warrant has been issued for Wildlife in Need founder Timothy Stark after police say he battered and threatened an Indiana deputy attorney general in March while filming for “Tiger King,” the Netflix documentary.

Stark, 55, is charged with a level 6 felony for intimidation against a law enforcement officer and a class B misdemeanor for the allegations from March 6 in Clark County.

Court records show that on that date, Indiana Deputy Attorney General Philip Rizzo was present at Wildlife in Need in Charlestown during an inspection of the premises and animals there. The procedure was part of a preliminary injunction in a civil lawsuit brought against Stark and the business by Attorney General Curtis Hill in February, and the judge’s order stated that “defendant shall not disrupt, harass or impede the state’s inspection team during the inspection.”

On Sept. 11, Indiana State Police interviewed Rizzo, who said he had been battered and threatened by Stark while on site March 6. On Sept. 21, police obtained an unedited video that had been recorded by the documentary film crew during the inspection. Review of it by investigators showed just before the 32-minute mark the state inspection team enter a metal building west of the business’ main gate.

As Rizzo entered a door in that building, court records show Stark grabbed his arm out of view of the camera as the deputy attorney general could be heard saying, “You’re not touching me, you’re not touching me.” Stark replied, “I’ll whoop your ass,” according to records.

A separate warrant was issued for Stark out of Marion County Sept. 16 after he was found in contempt of court in the civil case brought by Hill.

A team overseeing the removal of animals from Wildlife in Need, according to court orders, found that many of the animals previously known to be on the property were not there. The Office of the Attorney General filed a notice with the court Sept. 23, noting that 165 animals had been relocated by the state; another 23 were unaccounted for.

As of Monday afternoon, Stark was still at large, the attorney general’s office said. Online jail records from the Marion County Sheriff’s Department did not show Stark as having been arrested as of Tuesday. His bond is listed at $5,000 in the Clark County case.

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