‘Tiger King' star arrested in Travis County, made officers ’aware of his social status,’ police say

Dillon Passage told officers he ‘may be a bit intoxicated’

A star of the Netflix hit series “Tiger King” was arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated over the weekend and allegedly touted his “social status” to officers in Travis County.

Dillon Passage, husband to the jailed “Tiger King” himself Joseph Maldonado-Passage, was stopped while driving a Dodge Challenger around 1:30 a.m. Sunday on U.S. Highway 290 in Manor, according to police.

Passage, who was driving with his rear lights off, had blood-shot eyes and a slurred speech, court documents obtained by KSAT show.

“Mr. Passage made officers aware of his social status and marriage to famed Joe Maldonado-Passage (Tiger King) on scene of the incident," Manor police said in a statement.

View dashcam footage of Passage’s arrest in the video above.

He told police that he had three Modelo beers at the 77° Rooftop Patio Bar, the documents show. He also said that he “may be a bit intoxicated," according to investigators.

The arrest affidavit states that Passage believed he was in Belton, a city near Killeen, instead of Manor, which is northeast of Austin. He reportedly believed it was 7 p.m. instead of 1:30 a.m.

According to the Travis County Jail, Passage was charged with DWI and held on a $3,000 bond.

Dillon Passage has been arrested on a charge of DWI, according to the Manor Police Department. Image: Manor police
Dillon Passage has been arrested on a charge of DWI, according to the Manor Police Department. Image: Manor police (KSAT)

“Regardless of social status, the Manor Police Department will treat every person fairly and enforce violations of law no matter who the violator may be," Manor police said in a statement. “Driving while intoxicated is a dangerous violation that takes the lives of innocent people to include the young lady who was killed less than a mile from this incident location just days before.”

Maldonado-Passage, also known as Joe Exotic, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in a murder-for-hire plot on Florida animal sanctuary founder, Carole Baskin. He was also sentenced for violating federal wildlife laws.

His story grew to fame in the Netflix documentary series “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” which showed his disdain for Baskin and his obsession with big cats.

He is still married to Passage.

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