DOCUMENT: Animals, Crime

Video Shows Alligator Tossed Into Wendy's

Drive-thru employee climbed out of window

View Document

Wendy's Alligator

APRIL 7--A store surveillance camera captured a Florida man throwing a small alligator into the drive-thru window at a Wendy’s restaurant, prompting a concerned employee to hoist herself outside the window to escape the reptile.

As seen in the above video, defendant Joshua James, 24 paid for a drink he had ordered and then, as the Wendy’s employee turned her back to get change, he threw the live three-and-a-half foot alligator into the eatery around 1:30 AM. Seen at right, James then drove off in his Nissan Frontier.

While the airborne alligator is a blur in the footage, the Wendy’s employee’s concern is clear. While she seems to smile at the sight of the alligator inside the restaurant, the woman eventually sits up on the ledge of the drive-thru window and then jumps out the opening.

James, a Jupiter resident, is facing a felony aggravated assault charge in connection with the October 2015 alligator tossing at the Palm Beach County restaurant. Free on $3000 bond, James has been ordered by a judge to stay away from Wendy’s restaurants and is barred from contact with “any animals except current family dog.”

According to a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission report, James told investigators that he found the alligator on a roadway (the below photo shows the reptile on the floor inside Wendy’s). The alligator was subsequently released into a nearby canal.

The surveillance video was provided to TSG in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed with Florida prosecutors.

A second video, which apparently was uploaded to Facebook, shows a group of friends inside an apartment as one man holds a small alligator. A second man--who appears to be James--extends his left arm and allows the alligator to bite him.

To the delight of onlookers--at least two of whom are filming the proceedings--the alligator clamps on for a minute before letting go. Between shrieks, the bitten individual declares, “Oh, dude, he’s tearing the fucking skin! He’s tearing the skin” and “Dude, he’s not letting go.”

It is unclear whether the alligator in the second video--which was also turned over by prosecutors--is the one James threw into the Wendy’s. (3 pages)