Lots of the stuff coming out of the US just now is depressing in the extreme. However, while I was punting about on the interwebs, I came across this story from a year ago when there was a bit more light around.

You’ll all be aware of my liking for odd stories from the US about heinous crimes involving animals. One of my faves is the breathalysing raccoon, but even this was beaten into second place by the assault on a bar in Brookville, PA, involving a dead groundhog. Now the dead groundhog has had to surrender the crown because a man in Florida hurled a live alligator into a fast-food outlet.

There’s a small town in Palm Beach, FL, that goes by the name of Jupiter. It’s not quite as good as Eureka, but it’s still a good name. One of the residents of this northernmost town in the county goes by the name of Joshua James, and he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when he hoyed a 3 ½ foot alligator into his local Wendy’s.

One pleasing aspect of this is that he hurled it through the drive-through window after he’d collected his order. Got his priorities right there then. Also the crime was committed at about 1:30 AM, which suggested to me that perhaps the demon drink had been involved. I’ve done some silly things under the influence, but not anything this silly.

He was bailed on his own recognisance to the tune of six grand. Then as a condition of bail he was barred from possession of animals (‘including reptiles’ Judge Joseph Marx added helpfully). This is unfortunate, since Mr James lives with his folks, and they have a pet dog. His defending council argued that he had no rapsheet for animal abuse, and it shouldn’t be a problem.

Both Mr James and his parents felt the judge had overreacted to what was ‘clearly a prank’, but I’m not convinced that had I been the server in Wendy’s I’d have been ROFLing if somebody chucked a substantial member of the Alligatoridae family at me.

Things get worse, at least for Mr James, is he also got busted for a third degree felony for possession of an alligator. This alone could get him five years in the slammer.

Only in Murka, eh?