Man who tossed gator into Wendy's found guilty

Posted at 6:13 PM, May 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-31 18:21:47-04

Joshua James, the man who admitted to throwing a live gator into a Wendy's drive thru, maintains it was all a joke but the serious nature of the incident was re-lived in court Tuesday.

The Wendy's cashier spoke in court and said she was so scared that she jumped out of the drive thru window after the gator was thrown at her. She said she was scared enough that she even thought about quitting her job.

"It all started as a stupid prank," said James.

James entered a guilty plea in court and said he was severely apologetic and deeply regrets what he did.

But despite his apology and the judge saying "good people do bad things or stupid things," the sentence was guilty on both counts---misdemeanor assault and unlawful possession of an alligator. 

James has 12 months total probation and must complete 75 hours of community service. 

He must pay a fine and court costs totaling $1,200.

The judge ordered no contact with any Wendy's restaurants and no possession of any animals, aside from the family dog.

James and his family were silent walking out after he learned his fate from a judge.

"In this situation there wasn't a consideration of safety at least in my mind there wasn't. He may have thought this was something funny he was doing," said David Hitzig, the executive director of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, who served as an alligator expert in court  "But I've been bitten by alligators I've see what alligators can do and I think that's probably something the judge took a look at."

In court, James' attorney called this a sensational case, mentioning the long interview James did with us outside the jail after he was released.