April 24th, 2010
12:51 AM ET

Man says Craigslist post offering to sell kids was a joke

New York State Police have arrested a man accused of posting his children for sale on Craigslist.

Joshua Stagnitto told police it was a joke, said Investigator Bryan R. Blum of New York State Police in Rochester. Stagnitto turned himself in when he got transportation to come to the police station, Blum said.

Stagnitto, 24, of Brockport, is charged with one count of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.

Blum told CNN the charge against Stagnitto stems from the fact "that he indicated a baseless allegation of a crime which caused public alarm" and triggered an investigation.

A member of the public called child protective services earlier in April after seeing the post. Authorities began a probe, and had to "make sure that if there are two kids for sale, that they be tracked down and nothing happened to them," Blum said.

When questioned by police, Stagnitto admitted he put the posting on Craigslist, the investigator said.

The two children remain with Stagnitto and their mother, whom Blum described as Stagnitto's "significant other."

Police do not believe the children are in any danger, he said.

If convicted of the misdemeanor charge, Stagnitto could face up to a year in jail or a fine of up to $1,000, Blum said.

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soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. concerned citizen

    Notthing of danger such as "kids for sale" should be posted for the public to read...this took away the police from serious crume to check this out...the man should have some diisciplinary action taken against him for alarming the public!! Do not compare what was said to us by our parents in the past as iit was only heard by us alone not the public and did not involve the police!

    April 24, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. nato123

    The police should have tried to purchase the kids, then they would have a case. Seriously. The police department should review internal procedures. No crime committed here. Just a waste of public safety resources.

    April 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Getagrip

    It is interesting that the mother of these children was his "signficant other". Obviously, he did not respect her or his children enough to marry the "significant other". The other phrase to describe children born in this environment is "it's complicated". Sure is. When are these people going to understand that birth control pills and condons exist? It is a shame for people to create children in such an environment.

    April 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. mike

    I would think that, in a case like this, the police would have to contact the guy, undercover, and make some kind of a verification that he relaly is trying to seel the kids. Otherwise, what they are doing is essentially charging him with a thought crime.

    I think, by 205, the Police State of America will have all of us in prison. I suppose they will let us all out in the morning to go work, so that we keep the National Productivity going. The ultra-rich view us all as worker-slaves, transfering us all into prison would not be a bad idea for them. Keep us out of their way, and prevent us from crowding their vacation spots and their roads.

    April 24, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |

    To "J" comment posted April 24, 2010 @ 12;54 PM EST


    You have got to be freaking kidding me??? Set him up and frame him. Oh, you get the intelligence award, HERE'S YOUR SIGN!!!!!

    You don't honestly think that would fly in a court of law do you?

    Thank God you won't be on the jury to hear this case. I feel sorry for you.

    What CPS and the police should have done is to set him up and frame him to prove that he really wanted to sell his children, God's gifts.

    April 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bereal


    It is pretty obvious is was a joke .
    As drugs and gangs take over our street.......The cops arrest a Dad for a bad joke!

    Arrest the nitwit that reported him!

    April 24, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sandt

    Husband for sale...as-is!

    April 24, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pete

    Some of you here are utterly ridiculous to think this was not a joke. You people are TOO SERIOUS for the rest of us. Do us a favor and stick your heads back in the sand until this country the rest of us funny people leave. This is where we're at now, we can't joke because some people can't tell the difference? Shoot me know!

    April 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. PlayaHata

    I think I saw this in a sketch on Saturday Night Live! Arrest Lorne Michaels!!!

    April 24, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eric "Ered" Mobley

    So let me get this straight. Even if I am doing nothing wrong, yet someone thinks I am doing wrong, and the police check it out, and AGREE that I am doing nothing wrong, then I will still be charged because they had to check? Wow. Isn't it great that we live in a country where the crime rate is so low, that prosecutors have to make stuff up to fill up all of these empty jails we have? Will someone please give me a break.

    In the next five minutes (an it's Saturday), a person will be murdered, someone will be raped, a child will be exploited, a business owner will alter a document, a guy will put the final touches on a very large batch of methamphetamine, a politician will give a friend a lucrative contract, someone will get behind the wheel extremely intoxicated, and a wife will be beaten up by her husband. Someone will kick a dog. Someone will litter, and someone might even jaywalk.

    These are crimes. Crimes are things that hurt other people, or at the very least create an piddling public nuisance. Prosecutors, please do the job we pay you for, and Protect Us From Harm, instead of trying to get your name on CNN (he says as he posts to CNN using his real name.)

    I thought the joke was funny, and so did my kids, but my kids frequently tell me they are going to find me the worst nursing home in the state, because they think THAT is funny.

    April 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richelle

    Unfortunately there are people have actually tried to sell their children on Craigslist and people that have actually gone through with selling their children. That is why this is not a funny joke and why the police have to take it seriously.

    April 24, 2010 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Robby

    Why are cops in the US so unreasonable ?
    If this would happen in Europe, they would realize that this is a joke and most likely just leave it as it is.. they have more important things to do, or perhaps ask the dad to remove it because it's not a very good joke.. but ARREST someone for THAT ???

    Do these cops have nothing better to do ?
    My impression of cops here is that they are like machines that follow the law strictly without any common sense or HUMAN understanding.

    I love living in the US, but please let this really be the land of the free and don't put people in jail for BS like that. Put the real criminals (like the ones that caused the current economic crisis) in jail instead of people who just happened to make a minor mistake and didn't do any harm.

    European living in TX.

    April 24, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Patch

    Oh come on. Does the world really have no sense of humor anymore? Perhaps they didn't do their chores for one day. 🙂

    April 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. nas1972

    Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Make an example out of him. Then others won't be so fast to post such "jokes."

    April 24, 2010 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Gideon

    Let me guess, they will be happy to charge him convict him and take the $1,000 fine because putting him in jail for a year would cost them money not make them money. This is dumb.

    April 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
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