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. maria

    I agree with Kam! The reality is that there ARE people out there that WOULD sell children. Everyone is angry with the police department, yet you people would call the police incompetent if they failed to investigate and it was a real threat. So if a teenager posts a threat about shooting his/her classmates and writes THIS IS A JOKE, then it doesn't call for investigation?? Selling children HAPPENS all the time, even in the US. It's better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety and well being of children. You can't fault the police for that. I say make the moron pay the $1,000 and do some community service.

    April 24, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dave Stanley

    This, people is a prime example of why there will soon be another REVOLUTION coming in America. Up until about 1980 the prison population in a America stayed relatively unchanged at about 250,000 people. Since 1980 this number continues to skyrocket and is now at 2.5 million United State Citizens incarcerated. A new prison is being built every week in the United States. It's Time for a TEAPARTY!

    April 24, 2010 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jon King

    No, this was not a harmless joke. This guy is hiding some huge issues. At least now he will be under the microscope from now on.

    April 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sara

    It was a silly thing for him to do in this day in age, but it was an April Fools joke, the kids are probably still getting a kick out of it. They will remember this for as long as they live. I still remember my parents always pulling into Father Bakers to leave us there, all seven of us.

    April 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  5. kevin

    why wasn't Conan arrested for trying to sell the Tonight Show on Craigslist?

    Clearly he was trying to sell something illegally! LOL

    April 24, 2010 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff

    Yet another example of our inept law enforcement officials and the unequal application of law. Charge this man for placing an ad but do nothing to the two women (Duke and bathroom girl) who falsely reported a rape and brought down the futures of several young men.

    There is no justice in this country...only an unfair and inequitable legal system.

    April 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Adam

    so are the kids still for sell or what?

    April 24, 2010 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. me

    this would be funny if the kids were older, like teenagers or something, but apparently they were pretty young which makes this stupid with less entertainment value.

    April 24, 2010 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rocco Stanitto

    Ok listen up! Joshua is My 1st born son. It is so rediculous to me that so many people have opinions on a case they know very little about. Let me fill you in. This ad was posted 100% as a joke. It was so silly and rediculously written, that anyone with the IQ of a mouse turd would realize this. It also DID, in fact, state on the ad itself that it was a joke.
    The kids are 1 and 2 years old. The only thing they will ever know about this incident will be when they're teenagers and Dad tells them the story about how he put the whole world in a big silly ruckus.
    Joshua did not get charged with any major crime because ALL THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER, (police, CPS) realized that it was an obvious joke. As a matter of fact, 2 different Child protective workers laughed out loud after talking to Josh and seeing how stupid of an allegation it was. The sherifs that showed up LAUGHED! The charge he got was based on the what they claim as "causing public alarm" If CPS and the Sherifs deputies recognized it as so obvious, how can you charge someone based on ONE GOODY 2 SHOES with no sense of humor?
    I agree all cases should be investigated. It is a sick sad world. That's what the deputies did. Talked to Josh, talked to the kids. That was it. The official position by law inforcement. "THE CHILDREN WERE NEVER IN ANY DANGER OF BEING SOLD"
    You people who think he should have to pay because of the cost of the "manpower", Should you be fined when you lock your keys in your car and the police help you out?? How about when your young child dials 911 while playing with the phone?
    I must say that I am relieved to see the amount of common sense reflected in these comments. In our pathetic little city of Rochester, My son, and our whole family have been torn to shreds by the radio shows and others.
    Bottom line. There was no crime committed whatsoever!!!!! If you read the ad, you would NOT BE BASHING HIM! It was very funny.
    One final note. It it makes you feel any better, I did smack him in the back of the head.
    God bless, and remember how to laugh!! DAD

    April 24, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rocco Stagnitto

    Awesome! I spelled my own name wrong!! LOL! PS> He didn't "turn himself in" He was given an apearance ticket LATER. After some big shot decided to do so. He never lied about it. END OF STORY!!!! Maybe people should be mad as hell about the media deliberately lying to the public to make more money. ISN'T THAT "CAUSING PUBLIC ALARM?" Point your hate in the right direction. PEACE-

    April 24, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. mattie

    post: "doped up foster child on so called add, adhd helping pillls for rent to the state of califorina for the cost of $5000 a month of taxpayer money here in califorina!" .....aned 80,000 more foster youth in this state to do it to also.....

    April 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cheryl Leoncio

    First of all, CPS is the biggest mistake ever made....tax dollars PAY these people to rip families apart for a paycheck. Without families being destroyed, they wouldn't exist. No grant money (tax dollars)=no job. They provide courts with incomplete and more than half of the time FALSE INFORMATION and that is what the judge makes a ruling on. PRETTY SCARY STUFF! fightcps.org! check it out and know your rights because it could easily happen to you. ANYONE can be arrested with absolutely NO evidence. All it takes is an accusation and CPS will be there to take your kid(s) to ensure they have the numbers for their grant monies and you can (if you are a father) can kiss your parental rights goodbye
    As was pointed out by a very astute reader....THE POST WAS MADE ON CRAIGSLIST ON APRIL FOOL'S DAY!!!!! and another posed yet another valid observation..JOSH DIDN'T MAKE THE REPORT so how can he be charged with making a false report? Seems that the actual caller should be the one to face that charge. With all of the smut and soft core porn that is allowed to be put on the internet along with all the other garbage, all in the name of "free speech" I do believe, we have been given the right to put whatever we want in writing and publish it...THAT INCLUDES A REALLY BAD JOKE. Good grief, imagine how many people would be behind bars for bad jokes or making "threats" of "I'm going to sell you to the neighbors if you don't behave!" ......and if you want to be angry at all the tax dollars spent on the investigation? Take that up with the caller and the agent that took it seriously.

    April 25, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. Cheryl Leoncio

    oh and btw, there is a HUGE difference between yelling "BOMB" on an airplane for obvious reasons...than posting a joke that says "kids for sale" on APRIL FOOL'S DAY and putting a "disclaimer" STATING that is a joke. Take a chill pill "usewisdome" because like I said, anyone can be arrested and perhaps you would be singing a different tune if YOU were being charged.

    April 25, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Cheryl Leoncio

    er *wisdom...heehee

    April 25, 2010 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. ladyofargonne

    A joke on who? The kids are too young to read it. What kind of replies did he think he was going to get to this? Some from people who would seriously buy the kids.

    April 26, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
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