‘Tiger King’ star arrested in Granville

‘Tiger King’ star arrested in Granville

The Granville Police Department certainly was not expecting to arrest any celebrities early Thursday morning.

Timothy Lee Stark, 55, of Indiana, famously known from the hit Netflix documentary “Tiger King,” was arrested and charged with one count of intimidation, a Level 6 felony, and one count of battery, a Class B misdemeanor, stemming from warrants out of Indiana.

Stark was found at the Station House Bed and Breakfast on 75 Main Street in Granville.

“Around 11 o’clock last night, the State Police in Granville received a call from an individual reporting that they believed that Tim Stark, from the tv show ‘Tiger King,” was staying at the Station House Bed and Breakfast,” Sgt. Ryan Pedone of Granville Police Department said Thursday afternoon.

Pedone said the person reporting Stark’s location claimed Stark was showing pictures of exotic animals, but they didn’t know who Stark was. After conducting research and looking Stark up on the internet, they saw warrants that were online for Stark and immediately contacted authorities.

“At approximately 11:20 p.m., I made it to the residence and we began to run some plates that were in the driveway which came back to rental cars,” Pedone said. “The State Police arrived shortly thereafter, and I decided that I (would) make contact with the owner of the Bed and Breakfast.”

A photo from the internet was shown to the owner of the B&B, George Ignatiadis, who identified Stark as an individual who rented out a room.

After knocking on the door multiple times, Stark came to the door undressed and indicated he needed to put some clothes on.

Stark was advised the officers were there for a noise complaint. After being slightly hesitant to do so, Stark turned over his Indiana driver’s license to Pedone.

After running the license through NCIC, which checks for active warrants, Pedone was initially advised there were no active warrants, and handed his license back to Stark.

Pedone then contacted his dispatch and requested they get a hold of the officials in Indiana to see if there were any issues.

“In the process of making those phone calls, it was determined that the warrant was entered into the system without a middle initial, and that it did not have his driver’s license attached to it,” Pedone said. “So, when we ran him the way we ran him, it didn’t kick the warrant.”

After confirming Stark had an active warrant for his arrest, he was observed going from his rental car back to the residence.

Police were also informed by the Indiana authorities of some pretty crucial and threatening information.

“When we contacted them, the authorities in Indiana indicated that Tim was last known to be in possession of a live hand grenade,” Pedone said. “At that point, I began to evacuate the Bed and Breakfast.”

The toy plastic grenade Stark was carrying on his bag

After exiting Ignatiadis and his family from their residence, Pedone retrieved a key from Ignatiadis to Stark’s room and called for Stark to come out.

“He agreed and said he would be coming out peacefully,” Pedone said. “He came out with his hands up, was completely compliant, he was placed in handcuffs without any incident at all.”

Pedone visibly saw an object that resembled a hand grenade that turned out to be a plastic toy given by a young boy to Stark, which had Stark’s signature on it.

Pedone was not expecting to find humor in this situation, but Stark was able to provide plenty.

“He was taken into custody without any incidents at all and I have to tell you, he was probably the funniest guy that I’ve ever arrested,” Pedone said with a smile. “I laughed the whole time here to the station. He was cracking jokes on me, on the Troopers, on everyone that was here. He is a funny, funny guy.”

Ignatiadis and his family didn’t find the situation hilarious at all.

“My son is traumatized, he didn’t go to school today,” Ignatiadis said. “My wife and my kid are scared . . . right now.”

Pedone revealed Stark is currently at Washington County Jail in Fort Edward.

“At this point, he is incarcerated in the jail, and he’s held on no bail. The only place he’s gonna be going is Indiana when they come and pick him up,” Pedone said.

Stark openly admitted to why he had warrants out for his arrest while he was on vacation in Granville. Pedone said Stark was planning on turning himself into Indiana authorities when ready.

“Essentially, he told us, the long and the short version is that he never wanted to become famous, but that essentially once he became famous through the tv show that started PETA and other groups coming after him and all these lawsuits, and that the market in what he did has completely dropped off the face of the Earth and he says that most of these charges he thinks he’s gonna be exonerated from and never convicted from,” Pedone said.

“He openly told me that he was ordered to show his zoo to a group of people through the court system. He was saying that they were there and that this one person wanted to see behind a closed door, and he (Stark) said ‘once everyone gets over here I’ll open the door up and we can show everyone, I’m not gonna open the door up nine times for everyone.’ The guy got lippy with him and Stark says he poked the guy in the chest. He said ‘they’re just coming after me for foolish stuff’.’”

Additionally, Pedone said Stark went on Facebook Live at the police station and was cracking everyone up.

Any questions can be asked of the Granville Police Department at (518) 642-1414.