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Fast Food

No jail time for man who threw gator through Wendy’s drive-thru window

One of the year’s most bizarre fast food stories has come to an end.

A Florida man who threw a live alligator through a fast food restaurant drive-thru window was sentenced to a year of probation after throwing himself at the mercy of the court Tuesday.

In October, Jupiter, Fla. resident Joshua James was caught tossing a 3.5 foot alligator through the drive-thru window at a local Wendy’s. At the time, James said he found the nearly four-foot gator by the side of the road and just wanted to play a prank on a friend at the restaurant.

During his trial, James—who was initially charged with felonies including assault with a deadly weapon—told the judge that he was very sorry and regretted his actions. 

Although the Wendy’s cashier who was working during the incident got spooked by the animal, no one was hurt by the gator, and it was eventually captured and returned to the wild. The Palm Beach Post reports that James entered an open plea on two misdemeanors.

Before delivering the sentence, Palm Beach County Judge Barry Cohen told the court that the case had the “most bizarre fact pattern” of anything he’d seen in more than 25 years on the bench, adding: “I’ve never seen anything close.”

“This type of thing is not a prank. It’s a crime,” Cohen said in his last words to the defendant.

James won't have to serve any jail time but he was slapped with a year of probation, a $500 fine, 75 hours of community service-- and an order to stay away from Wendy's. But no other fast food establishment was mentioned in the sentence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.