Sheriff denies Joe Exotic's discrimination allegations

GARVIN COUNTY, Okla. (KXII) - Last Friday 23-year-old Travis Maldonado shot himself in the head in what his husband Joe Maldonado - also known as Joe 'Exotic'- calls a tragic accident.

The Garvin County Sheriff's Department investigated the incident and say that witnesses told them Maldonado was trying to prove the gun would not go off without a magazine in it but was mistaken.

Now almost a week after the incident Exotic says he reached out to the Sheriff's Department and requested if they would escort the remains of Travis to the park.

He says he was denied that request by the Sheriff.

"His exact text says 'I did not' in capital letters 'approve a weekend request to escort Travis from Woosters to the park, you may contact the highway patrol' - and that's all I got," Exotic said.

Exotic says that's discrimination because of his sexuality and choice to advocate for legalizing marijuana.

"I know it is. All everyone goes around town that we are a bunch of druggies out here and I am gay and we have all these misfits out here," Exotic said.

But Sheriff Rhodes says with one deputy working Saturday mornings his first priority is public safety.

"That decision was based on man power and allocation of resources on Saturday, for it to be anything else is ridiculous," Sheriff Rhodes said.

Sheriff Rhodes says he was surprised to see the allegations made against him and the sheriff's department.

"We are not even talking about the tragedy that occurred. We are talking about allegations made against me and the sheriff's office professionally on discrimination," Sheriff Rhodes said.

Funeral services for Maldonado are scheduled for Saturday at the animal park.



 
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