Florida authorities have arrested a man who threw a live alligator out of a restaurant window.

According to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Report, Joshua James, Jupiter, Florida was the man who threw a 3-meter reptile at Wendy last Fall.

Three charges are against him in connection to the incident: aggravated attack with a deadly weapon; illegal sale and possession of an alligator; petty theft. James, 24, was taken into police custody and placed in a Palm Beach County Detention Center. This incident was first reported by WPTV, NBC partner.

According to surveillance reports, the driver was wearing a baseball cap with his backwards and drove up to the driveway window to get a large drink. It happened just before 1:30 AM on October 11.

According to the report, “As the attendant stares at her with his back towards the window and stands at her check in, a male driver reached inside his car in his passenger area and threw an alligator into the driveway.”

The report’s photograph shows an American alligator living in an apartment on the ground of a fast-food restaurant kitchen. According to the report, an officer responding to the incident caught and taped the jaws of the alligator “for safety reasons” before releasing it into a nearby canal.

The National Zoo estimates that the average American alligator female grows to eight feet in height. Average males grow to just under 11 feet. Wendy found the alligator to be only three-and-a-half feet long when it was thrown in her driveway.

Later, the officer reviewed surveillance footage taken at a nearby gas station. It showed that the driver had acted suspiciously just a few minutes prior to the incident.

Alabama hunters kill massive alligators near the Gulf of Mexico. It’s good!

The investigator notes that the driver climbed out of his car and pulled out of the window, instead of opening it. He also noted that the passenger and driver later “continuously” looked through the side window to see what was inside. 

James confessed to the authorities that he had taken the alligator from the roadside, driven to Wendy’s, and then threw it through his driveway.

WPTV reported that James was ordered by a judge to avoid Wendy’s restaurants in order to not own weapons and to undergo a mental assessment. He also had to limit his contact with the dog his mother has.

James’ parents described him as an outdoor enthusiast and harmless prankster to TV. They also said that he was a fan of conservationist Steve Irwin and crocodile hunter Steve Irwin.

His mother said to WPTV, “It was just an idiotic joke that has now become this one; it is stupid. He’s a joker. These are the things he does because he finds it funny. 

According to the State Fish and Wildlife Commission of Florida, the American alligator has been listed as a species of special concern. It is noted that Florida law prohibits alligator killing, pursuit, or possession.

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the American alligator population had “hit an all-time low” in the 1950s due to habitat loss and market hunting. According to the government, in 1987 the alligator, a member the crocodile clan, was “completely recovered” and is now considered one of the first successes stories for an endangered species.

According to the Fisheries and Wildlife Service however, the American alligator has been declared a federally protected species.

The American alligator is now safe but other related animals, such as several species of crocodiles or caimans, are still at risk. The Fish and Wildlife Service continues protecting alligators that are “endangered because of similarity in appearance” according to the ESA. The Service regulates alligator hunting and legal trade in animals, skins, and products made from them. This is part of an effort to stop illegal removal and sale endangered “similar” reptiles.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), the state averages about five unprovoked alligator attacks per year.

These “unprovoked bites” have claimed 22 lives in Florida since 1948.

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