Gator's not on the menu at Wendy's but it did show up inside at least one location recently. Last October a Florida man with a vendetta threw a three-and-a-half foot long alligator through the drive-thru window of a Wendy's restaurant just east of Palm Beach. Yesterday, 23-year-old Joshua James was arrested at his home for the incident, which was documented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. According to police records, he was changed with second degree petty theft (of the reptile, which he had picked up off the side of the road earlier that day), possession and injury of an alligator, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. He's being held on a $3,000 bond.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's record of the incident, James ordered a large beverage from Wendy's drive-thru, and after paying and receiving the drink, pulled the live gator out of the back of his truck and flung it into the open drive-thru window. Ultimately why he did this is unclear. The alligator survived the incident and no witnesses were injured. Wendy's official statement on the matter: "This unfortunate incident occurred last year. The safety and security of our restaurant teams is very important to us, and we're glad that no one was injured as a result of this situation."
James appeared in court this morning. His parents swear it was all just a dumb prank, because of course they do.
Even a local Florida newscaster said, "This is one of those stories that only happens in Florida." Gators can be found up the Eastern seaboard and down into south Texas, but for some reason, the country's Southern-most state has become notorious as the home of oddball crimes. Last year alone, two men got into a fight over a bad hot dog at a Checkers restaurant; a restaurant cook stabbed his co-worker over a disagreement about Gumbo spices; and a man was arrested after trying to pay his bar tab with a rock. In related gator news, in 2014, a restaurant owner shot and killed a 719-pound alligator. It was later put on the menu.
Video: Man arrested for tossing gator into restaurant
Update 2/9/16: This post has been updated to reflect Wendy's statement on the matter.