Alligators have been used as shoes, briefcases, university mascots, as lunch, and now, according to authorities, as deadly weapons.
Joshua James, 24, was charged Monday with assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. He was accused of throwing a 3.5-foot alligator through Wendy’s driveway window in October in Palm Beach County. He is also accused of illegal possession and theft. According to prison records, he was released on $6,000 bail on Tuesday. He was told not to contact animals.
Nicholas Guerin, Wildlife Conservation Officer, stated in his report that James drove his pickup truck up to the window around 1:20 AM on October 11. After James was given his drink by the employee, he took the alligator out of the window and fled. It was no harm. Guerin captured the alligator and released him. Guerin claimed James was captured using video surveillance and was able to shop at a nearby location.
Guerin stated that James had admitted to dumping the alligator during a December interview. He stated that James had told him that he had found an alligator along the side of the road and that he put it in his truck.
Linda James, James’ mother, said to WPTV that her son was playing a “stupid prank.”
She said, “He does these things because he finds it funny.” She assured him he meant no harm and said that he “gave up without any difficulties.” No one entered the James homes. The phone numbers for the family were disconnected.
James P. Ross is a retired scientist from the Department of Ecology and Wildlife of the University of Florida. He said that the 3.5-foot alligator will likely weigh between 20 and 30 pounds and that its sturdy body could take a significant hit if it hits anyone.
An alligator bite is similar to a dog bite, and it is unlikely to inflict serious injury on a finger or cause tendons to tear. He said that infection is the most serious concern if the bite is not treated.
He said that it was unlikely that an alligator would ‘attack’ anyone and will most likely be traumatized and scared. He could snap and throw at anyone that gets near him and could even stick his jaws 12-18 inches in all directions.