Manor releases video of ‘Tiger King’ husband’s arrest; Dillon Passage had drinks in Austin before DWI arrest, affidavit says

Crime

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Early Sunday morning, Dillon Passage, one of the stars of Netflix’s hit true crime docuseries “Tiger King,” was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in Travis County.

Passage, 25, who is married to the series’ namesake “Tiger King” zookeeper Joe Exotic, was stopped after an officer pulled over his Dodge Challenger in the 13600 block of U.S. Highway 290 in Manor.

“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 release. “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. 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.”

The officer said the vehicle’s rear lights were out, even though the front headlights were illuminated.

According to the arrest affidavit, once stopped, Passage told the officer he had just left Domain restaurant 77° Rooftop Patio Bar and admitted he’d had three Modelo beers. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission told KXAN Monday morning there are currently no violations or complaints against 77° Rooftop Patio Bar as a result of this incident, but that investigators will see if a bartender served Passage while he was inebriated. KXAN also reached out to 77° Rooftop Patio Bar for comment and will update this story when it responds.

The officer said Passage, who had blood-shot eyes and slurred speech, told him he “may be a bit intoxicated.” The officer says Passage also believed he was in the city of Belton, despite the stop taking place in Manor. Google Maps indicates the two cities are about 50 minutes to an hour apart.

Video of the arrest released by the Manor Police Department showed an officer walking Passage to the front of his patrol and placing him in handcuffs, according to Manor PD.

Passage also reportedly thought it was 7 p.m., even though the stop occurred at 1:30 a.m.

The 25-year-old Belton resident was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor resisting arrest, search or transport, Manor police say.

He was booked into the Travis County Jail and held on a $3,000 bond.

Passage’s husband Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joe Maldonado, is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being found guilty in a murder-for-hire plot. That was the focus of the 2019 Netflix show. “Tiger King,” which has gone on to become one of Netflix’s most successful shows of all-time.

In a statement posted to Instagram, Joe Exotic wrote in part, “I am just glad that no one was hurt learning such a lesson that drinking and driving is something to take very seriously. I love my husband and will be there for him, just as he has been for me.”

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