It’s an old joke: “If these kids don’t quiet down, I’m going to sell them to the highest bidder on eBay.” But when someone reported an ad they saw on Craigslist advertising two toddler boys for sale, authorities say it was no laughing matter.
Joshua Stagnitto of Brockport, N.Y. thought he’d get some laughs from family, friends, and a few strangers when placed his listing on Craigslist. The boys, ages 1 and 2, were advertised as “child slaves or footstools,” who came with a dozen diapers and a dirty t-shirt.
Pricing started at $40 for one, $200 for the pair. That should have been enough evidence to prove that Stagnitto wasn’t serious, since everyone knows that to encourage a timely sale of noisy, bothersome children you offer a reduced price for two.
But I kid.
“Just when you think you’ve seen it all in law enforcement, something new comes out,” says Trooper Mark O’Donnell, of the New York State Police. “If you go on Craigslist, you see pictures of skis and snowmobiles, and cars, just about everything for sale. Now, we’ve seen a two-year-old and a one-year-old.”
Though authorities don’t believe the kids are now or were ever in any danger of anything more serious than being raised by a dad with a terrible sense of humor, Stagnitto has been charged anyway. He faces misdemeanor charges of falsely reporting an incident, and authorities are annoyed.
“He didn’t actually sell his children, obviously. But he did cause enough annoyance or problems for three different agencies to get involved. And again, there’s some serious manpower and time that was wasted on something that he said was just a joke,” said Trooper O’Donnell.
Stagnitto is confident that he’ll beat the charges, and is back at home with his girlfriend and sons.
Photo: HurleyFamily, Flickr
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