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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Filed under: Craigslist • Uncategorized
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. VC

    Dude! Sense of humor no longer politically correct! Read a real newspaper. Sheesh!


    April 24, 2010 at 3:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shawn

    If only it were so easy.

    April 24, 2010 at 3:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tad Pole

    A better title to the story would have been, "Man arrested after making bad joke." From what I gather in the story, he didn't really try to sell his kids – so why is it being reported as such?

    April 24, 2010 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. AGeek

    Yes, Stagnitto made a "joke" that was stupid. Last I checked, stupid jokes were still not criminal. Yet after CPS & the police investigated and determined it *was* a joke and the kids are fine, this guy is going to be charged with something when it was someone ELSE who reported it?!

    I've dealt with serial do-gooders and CPS before. That cost me a few thousand dollars in attorney fees to keep CPS squarely at bay. We had a MOUNTAIN of proof that there was NOTHING wrong and some non-mandatory reporting person called CPS.

    It's time to rewrite CPS laws. I appreciate the reason for anonymity, however when it's 100% baseless and proven out to be unfounded, these serial do-gooders need to be held responsible for the damage they cause. I propose that non-mandatory reporters be required to give their name and contact information. If the report is deemed valid after investigation, they remain anonymous. If it's baseless and unfounded, then it's open season for civil suits and/or criminal charges as appropriate. That protects both those doing the reporting AND innocent victims of serial do-gooders.

    April 24, 2010 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  5. Steve

    How uninformed! EVERYONE knows you don't use Craigslist to sell used kids...you ALWAYS use a reputable, established local dealer! DUH!

    April 24, 2010 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. Interaction

    Some things are just not funny, Joshua!

    April 24, 2010 at 3:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. LookingGlass

    people are stupid and im talking about the craigslist people that were "alarmed" and the police.

    April 24, 2010 at 4:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. MP

    Of course it was a joke. Nobody would be that dumb.

    April 24, 2010 at 4:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. janis

    There are some things that you just don't joke about.

    April 24, 2010 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. ninjakitty

    Oh for pete's sake can't anyone take a joke anymore? So I guess all of the parents who dressed their kids in t-shirts that said "kid for rent – cheap" should have been arrested too? What is wrong with this world, it really is going nutz! These cops definitely need to find something else to do and stop violating a person's first amendment right of free speech.

    April 24, 2010 at 5:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. Michael

    as stupid and currupted the dude is for doing what he is said to of done, you would think the cops would of been smart enough to play the game and see if he would sell the kids, then you would know.

    April 24, 2010 at 5:29 am | Report abuse |
  12. Joe Stack's Financial Advisor

    What a wonderful use of police resources. The man obviously meant this as a legitimate offer. I sure hope they fine him the $1000 and put him in jail. Some free-thinking person with a sense of humor has no place in this world.

    April 24, 2010 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mike

    Gotta wonder about the sensibility of the police *believing* everything they see on the Internet, and then filing charges when it turns out not to be true. Where does that lead?

    April 24, 2010 at 6:03 am | Report abuse |
  14. jason

    some people shouldn't be allowed to have babies.

    April 24, 2010 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Semantics1

    Nice. No jokes allowed anymore in America. Think of the children!!!

    Crimes are going to happen, why do we insist on legislating EVERYTHING? Did this guy actually sell his kids? NO. Therefore you do not have a case. Take your agenda somewhere else.

    April 24, 2010 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
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