An image of the alligator that was thrown into the Wendy’s drive-thru in October 2015 in Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
WPTV screenshot

A Florida man was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly throwing a live alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window, the Washington Post reports. 

Joshua James, 24, of Jupiter was identified as the suspect in the incident, which occurred last fall, and faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly wapon; unlawful sale, possession or transporting of an alligator; and petty theft. James was booked into the Palm Beach County Detention Center on Monday, the site notes. 

On the morning of Oct. 11, 2015, a driver arrived at the drive-thru window of the Wendy’s in Royal Palm Beach wearing a backward baseball hat to collect a drink order.

“While the attendant has her back to the window and is at her register, the male driver reaches across the inside of his vehicle in the passenger area and throws an alligator from his vehicle into the drive through window,” the incident report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission notes. 


The 3-1/2-foot American alligator could be seen flat on the kitchen floor of the restaurant. An officer responding to the incident captured the protected species, taping its jaws shut “for safety,” before it was released into a nearby canal. The alligator in question was rather small; the average female American alligator grows to about 8 feet, while the average male grows to about 11 feet. 


According to the report, James confessed that he picked up the alligator along the side of the road before driving to the Wendy’s and tossing the animal through the window. 

On Tuesday a judge ordered James to stay away from all Wendy’s restaurants and to avoid possessing any weapons. James will also have to get a mental-health evaluation and limit his contact with animals to his mother’s dog, WPTV notes


James’ parents think their son just took a “stupid prank” too far. 

“It was just a stupid prank that he did that’s now turning into this; it’s stupid,” his mother told WPTV. “He’s a prankster. He does stuff like this because he thinks it’s funny.”