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Drive-Thru Gator Stunt Was 'Stupid,' Man Charged Says

by Phil Helsel /

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A Florida man arrested Monday for allegedly throwing an alligator through a Wendy’s drive-thru window admitted Tuesday the stunt wasn’t well thought out, and said “my pranking days are over.”

Joshua James, 24, of Jupiter, was arrested Monday on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, petit theft and unlawful possession of an alligator connected to gator caper early Oct. 11 in Loxahatchee, records show.

"I'm sorry for what I did," James told reporters after posting $6,000 bail Tuesday, according to NBC affiliate WPTV. "I mean, you know, just being stupid, not thinking and obviously I found out what the consequences were and I've got to pay for them."

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No one was hurt in the stunt, and the around 3-foot alligator was captured in the kitchen and released into a nearby canal, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission said in a police report.

James said a friend works at the Wendy’s andhe threw the alligator in the drive-thru window — where a different employee was working — as “a good laugh kind of thing."

Joshua James appears in Palm Beach County court Feb. 9, 2016, accused of throwing an alligator through the drive-thru window of a Wendy's in October.Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post via ZUMA Wire

He was surprised by the severity of the charges, two of which are felonies.

"I think my pranking days are over as of today," James said.

James said he and a friend found the alligator, caught it, and then put the animal in the back seat of their truck before dropping it in the drive thru-window. A woman was heard screaming as they sped off, he said.

This photo provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows the alligator in the kitchen of a Wendy's Restaurant in Loxahatchee, Fla.Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via AP

"We’re just like outdoors kind of people and just anything we find we kind of just like catch — snakes, lizards, anything," James said.

"We saw an alligator, and you know caught it and were handling it, and like I said, ideas started popping and one thing led to another," he said.

James was ordered to stay away from all animals except for the family dog while out on bail, according to court records.

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