A 24-year-old man in Jupiter, Florida, has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon. This isn’t particularly uncommon, after all assault with a deadly weapon certainly isn’t a rare crime. What makes this case unusual is the deadly weapon that the man used. It wasn’t a gun or knife, it was 3 ½ foot American alligator.
Joshua James was driving around in his truck when he noticed an alligator on the side of the road. Upon seeing the gator he had the idea to use the reptile to pull a prank. He put the gator in his truck and drove to a nearby Wendy’s in Royal Palm Beach.
James went through the drive thru and waited for the employee to turn around. Once the employee wasn’t looking, he threw the alligator through the window into the restaurant.
Police eventually tracked him down and charged James with three crimes: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of an alligator, and petty theft.
James’s parents claim he is a reptile enthusiast and a known prankster. They also told authorities that James knew an employee at the Wendy’s and was most likely trying to prank that employee.
Obviously the judge did not see this act as a harmless prank. The laws in Florida give a fair amount of leeway when defining a “deadly weapon.” Typically, a deadly weapon is thought to be anything that is inherently deadly or dangerous.
The judge ordered that James refrain from going to any other Wendy’s locations. The alligator was released back into the wild.
While this is an odd case, the charges are serious and so are the penalties. If convicted James could face jail time and heavy fines. Regardless of how strange the weapon is, if you’ve been charged with assault with a deadly weapon you need a strong and experienced attorney. The lawyers at Bauer, Crider, Kenny & Parry have more than 130 combined years of experience representing clients charged with a wide variety of crimes.