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. J

    Obviously he does not have the heart or sensitivty like a good loving father should have. How is that going to make the children feel or affect? Unwanted of course! Nobody jokes like that.
    I am glad the police will charge him with a fine for his attempt to sale the children. What if it had been true? CPS and the police did the right thing by stepping in. Nowadays you hear horrible stories , why wouldn't they think it was for real. He can say he was just joking but was were his real intentions? Plus $1,000 is nothing compared to the cost of mobilizing the authorities and investigating his so called 'joke' Who pays for all that? The city, namely US the tax payers. 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 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. suv driver

    not funny at all .now......time to pay for "FUNNY" and STUPIDITY.

    April 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Selmers

    You people are a joke! You all get butt hurt about the lamest crap these days! Why dont you all have me arrested because I dont have any kids. Think of the emotional trauma I caused my non-children by not having them!

    April 24, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cori

    It is like Dave Ramsey says about getting debt free, "sell so much stuff [that] the kids think they are next".

    April 24, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 62moons

    didn't he used to have 3 kids?

    April 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ML

    There are some things that you just don't joke about. This is one of them. I'm a teacher, and I deal with that every day in my classroom. Once I had a student yell out that a group of students were "faggots," and he didn't see anything wrong with it because he was "joking." Right.

    Think before you speak (or in this case post) – IT'S NOT THAT HARD. If it *could* be taken offensively or the wrong way, it *will*.

    April 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. axg2010

    People should think twice about doing something which might be a joke but can possibly be construed as an illegal act. For example, try "joking" about a bomb at an airport...

    April 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    dumb trash

    April 24, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dave

    Seems a lot of You think this was OK as it was meant as a joke, Would you also think that a bomb threat was also just a joke as long as there was no bomb?

    April 24, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Christy

    At age 24 he is still a child himself,
    and I think other more important issues come out of this and he should be closely watched, but at 24 making him pay $1000 would be very stupid if the judge where to rule that.
    He needs parenting classes and to completed some books and testes on parenting and choices. That would be a better idea. and or punishment. And he does need some guidance.
    But this case still had to be brought to light because there are some dumb people out there that really would attempt that sort of thing.

    April 24, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shiv

    What an idiot!!.. is this the way to joke at his own kids. One should have some responsibility while using sites like Craigslist. Some facilities are meant to be used the right way. You cannot harm somebody and say that it is a "joke" , what a dumbo...Some body can harm this man and say it is a joke right!

    April 24, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jofiad

    There was someone in Spokane, WA. thatposted on craigslist they wanted to sell their 5 yr old son Gavin for $5K. The ad said something about how he couldn't care for his son anymore and at times locks him up in the closet. The poster name was Rick Rulogably or something like that.. The Police are hot on the search for this jerk whether it's true or not. What's wrong with people?? If you can't take care of children, don't have them. God is trusting you to care for and show them the way.

    April 24, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DMan

    We live in a scoiety where the selling and abuse of children is a reality, a sad sign of the times! Where people actually do sell children and treat them as objects and not people. In my opinion this father was not going to actually go through with such a sale.
    But failed to realize the seriousness and the reality of this practice as a real problem in today's world.
    It has to be taken seriously by the authorities and investigated or all child traffickers could just say they are just joking if cought!
    I wish we did not live in a world where this problem was a reality, but it is and its no joke!

    April 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. monkey

    even if he really was trying to sell his kids on CL.. if anyone was interested, they would have told him they were coming to get em, then they wouldn't have showed up or ever called back.. cause 99% of CL buyers are flakes.. so there was no real danger.. even if they were free, no one would have completed the deal..

    April 24, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Azubuike

    If this was a joke, he truly took it overboard. Questions: Who was the target of the joke? What if a predator(s) offered money? When was he going to say Ha Ha?

    April 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
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