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Man Accused of Trying To Sell Kids On Craigslist 172

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-what-section-does-one-list-children? dept.
crimeandpunishment writes "You can get a lot of good deals on Craigslist, apparently including children. A New York State man has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell his children on the online marketplace. From the article: 'State Police Investigator Bryan Blum said Joshua A. Stagnitto, 24, was charged with one count of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, after a report was made to Monroe County Child Protective Services advising them of the posting on the online marketplace. The posting indicated a person was selling their children. Police said an investigation revealed Stagnitto was the source of the posting.'"

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Man Accused of Trying To Sell Kids On Craigslist

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  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:18PM (#31958384) Journal

    Oh dang, the punchline is the title... What do I put in the body?

  • Mr Stagnitto claims to have a Slashdot UID in the low 5 digits.

    • Mr Stagnitto claims to have a Slashdot UID in the low 5 digits.

      I think you meant to say "Mr Stagnitto seems to have an IQ in the low 2 digits."

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Columcille (88542)
      I swear I'm not him. I'm in the high 5 digits.
    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      Mr Stagnitto claims to have a Slashdot UID in the low 5 digits.

      Why would you find a low-5d UID implausible? I got one for free when I joined.
      OK - you were probably having more fun sucking your mothers tit that day than I had signing up to SlashDot. But don't you get more fun out of SlashDot today than you do out of sucking your mother's tit?

  • by tacarat (696339) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:21PM (#31958442) Journal
    Freecycle.org would have been better.
  • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:22PM (#31958456)

    Am I the only one that notices that the summary contradicts the title? Title says he was arrested for selling his kids, summary says he made a fake posting for selling his kids and prank called the police about it. WTF samzenpus, more sloshed than usual today?

    • He didn’t call the police. It just says a report was made. He posted the ad and they tracked him down. They accused him of trying to sell his kids, and he said it was a prank all along. They apparently believe him, but they’re still charging him with something... falsely reporting an incident by posting the prank ad.

      Trooper Mark O’Donnell said when troopers learned of the incident, they checked on the boys, who were fine.

      “They were in no danger of being sold at any time,” O

      • I take it you didn't RTFS then:

        Joshua A. Stagnitto, 24, was charged with one count of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor

        Summary says he was charged for making the report, not the posting.

        • Maybe they didn’t have anything else to charge someone with for posting a prank ad on Craigslist?

          He was the source of the Craigslist post. It never says who the tipster was.

          • Then what the hell are you proposing he falsely reported an incident of?

            • Wanting to sell his kids.

        • by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:56PM (#31958954) Journal

          And here’s a quote to back up my claim:

          http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/brockport_man_posted_children.html [syracuse.com]

          Stagnitto was charged with third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, because he allegedly creating public alarm by posted false information [SIC], that he wanted to sell his children, Blum said.

          The false report was that he wanted to sell the kids. It was false, it caused public alarm, and they’re charging him with falsely reporting an incident.

          And yes, “he allegedly creating public alarm by posted” is word-for-word what they reported. WTF, OMG, etc.

          • by hldn (1085833)

            i bet these people would arrest jonathan swift for making a false report too.

      • by v1 (525388)

        actually it appears that he [i]made[/i] the post to craigslist, and then made the [i]complaint[/i] also. I find it somewhat entertaining that he didn't get in trouble for appearing to try to sell his children, but instead for reporting to the authorities about someone (himself) trying to do it. (known prank) Apparently making a false report to the police is a bigger deal than trying to sell your kids?

        • Nope [slashdot.org]. I find it somewhat entertaining that people are still posting to tell me that I’m wrong.

          TFA wasn’t clear and was somewhat misleading but the guy did not report his own ad. Other people became concerned and called CPS.

    • Ya, I had to read this several times too. It reads as if Stagnitto both posted the CL listing and reported it, but in fact "falsely reporting an incident" was just what he was charged with, presumably because there wasn't a more fitting charge. TFA could have worded it better.

  • The charge doesn't make sense to me. I read the article, and I don't understand what the charge means. I would think that "falsely reporting an incident" would be something like calling 911 when you don't have an emergency. Or perhaps it would be reporting to police that you were mugged by someone, when you were not actually mugged at all. He made a joke post on craiglist about selling his kids, and he gets hit with a charge of "falsely reporting an incident?"
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BattleApple (956701)
      I think it falls under this:

      A person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or circulated to be false or baseless, he: 1. Initiates or circulates a false report or warning of an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a crime, catastrophe or emergency under circumstances in which it is not unlikely that public alarm or inconvenience will result

      http://law.onecle.com/new-york/penal/PEN0240.50_240.50.html [onecle.com]

      • by nbauman (624611)

        That's apparently the section of the law they charged him with. IANAL but I don't think this case would hold up in court.

        He was telling a joke, so the question is whether it's "likely" that public alarm would result. The statute also says *public* alarm so it might have to be taken seriously by more than just one person and the cops he complained to.

        If I saw a post on Craigslist or eBay where somebody were offering to sell his wife or children, I'd assume it was a joke, and I think most normal people would

    • by servanya (321392)

      he called the cops and reported the CL post.

      • No. “Someone” called the cops. We don’t know who the anonymous tipster was.

        They’re charging this guy for the Craigslist post itself, which was false. Apparently posting an ad that you want to sell your kids is illegal even if you don’t really want to sell your kids. Who’da thought?

  • N.Y.S. Penal Code
    240.50 Falsely reporting an incident in the third degree.
    A person is guilty of falsely reporting an incident in the third degree when, knowing the information reported, conveyed or circulated to be false or baseless, he:
    1. Initiates or circulates a false report or warning of an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a crime, catastrophe or emergency under circumstances in which it is not unlikely that public alarm or inconvenience will result; or
    2. Reports, by word or action, to an official or quasi-official agency or organization having the function of dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property, an alleged occurrence or impending occurrence of a catastrophe or emergency which did not in fact occur or does not in fact exist; or
    3. Gratuitously reports to a law enforcement officer or agency (a) the alleged occurrence of an offense or incident which did not in fact occur; or (b) an allegedly impending occurrence of an offense or incident which in fact is not about to occur; or (c) false information relating to an actual offense or incident or to the alleged implication of some person therein; or
    4. Reports, by word or action, to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment, as defined in title six of article six of the social services law, an alleged occurrence or condition of child abuse or maltreatment which did not in fact occur or exist.
    Falsely reporting an incident in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

    I guess they'll attempt to prove that he "[i]nitiate[d] or circulate[d] a false report or warning of an...impending occurrence of a crime...under circumstances in which it is not unlikely that public...inconvenience will result." Or they would if he doesn't plea bargain. This law seems to have awfully wide applicability.

  • idiot police (Score:4, Insightful)

    by corbettw (214229) <`moc.oohay' `ta' `wttebroc'> on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:34PM (#31958616) Journal

    So now it's illegal to have a sketchy sense of humor? Isn't this sort of thing protected by the First Amendment? It's not like he actually went through with trying to enslave his kids or anything.

    Here's hoping a judge tosses this pile of nonsense quickly.

    • by MrMista_B (891430)

      No, the illegal part is this part: 'the report was made to Monroe County Child Protective Services advising them of the posting on the online marketplace.'

      That's the false report he's being charged with.

      • Re:idiot police (Score:4, Interesting)

        by clone53421 (1310749) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:45PM (#31958770) Journal

        Actually, it never says he made the report. The illegal part wasn’t his “sketchy sense of humour”, it was posting a prank ad that would’ve been highly illegal if it was real.

        “They were in no danger of being sold at any time,” O’Donnell said. “We made sure they were safe, and they are.”

        Blum said the boys continue to live with Stagnitto and their mother, his fiancé, in Brockport.

        Although Stagnitto claimed the ad was a joke, O’Donnell said it was not funny.

        “What he did caused public alarm,” he said. “We hope he understands the seriousness of his actions.”

        It’s no different from calling in a fake bomb threat. The police have to take action because they don’t know it’s a prank until they investigate. And you WILL get in trouble for it, even though you didn’t really plant a bomb. You’ll get in less trouble than if you had really planted the bomb, but you WILL be in trouble.

        • Actually it's quite different. The bomb threat is made against a third party. The posting to Craislist is simply following through after you threaten your kids with doing so. It's right up there with "I brought you into this world, I can take you back out." I beleive eBay has an official policy against listing your children for sale, no matter how insolent they are. Apparently it's also against the rules to list your grandmother on eBay. [dailymail.co.uk]
          • Actually it's quite different. The bomb threat is made against a third party.

            His kids were not a third party?

            The posting to Craislist is simply following through after you threaten your kids with doing so. It's right up there with "I brought you into this world, I can take you back out."

            Ohh. THAT attitude.

            I hope you never have kids.

    • by cmburns69 (169686)

      Dangit, man! Haven't you ever heard of the Oxford comma [wikipedia.org]? I thought the last charge was "selling children as food and misrepresenting the weight of livestock".

      • by Anubis350 (772791)
        heh, hello there mister grammar nazi...

        I actually googled then copypasta'd the quote, don't blame me for the missing comma (I s'pose I could have fixed it, I really wasn't invested enough in the post to though :-p).
  • Buy kids? (Score:3, Funny)

    by NovaHorizon (1300173) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:35PM (#31958634)

    Who would want to buy a self inducing debt system? That's the worst deal on craigslist.

    • Who would want to buy a self inducing debt system?

      I think the Chinese and Indians would go for it.

      Don't consider it a debt, but an investment. As long as it's male. [economist.com]

  • by Hubec (28321) on Friday April 23, 2010 @01:39PM (#31958684)

    It's really hard to tell exactly what's going on here based on this messed up article, but I think I've figured it out: Santiago makes a hoax posting on craigslist hoping for a media firestorm. Nobody notices. Santiago reports the posting to Child Protective Services intending to stoke the fire. Police figure out he's the guy that made the original posting which is obviously a joke and charge him with making a false report for wasting their time.

    Am I close?

    • No... it never said he reported it. He caused alarm by posting the fake ad and they’re charging him with a misdemeanor.

  • http://www.kptv.com/news/15717620/detail.html

    strange world we live in!
  • *sigh* no. It's not illegal and he wasn't charged with "trying to sell his kids on CL." The title contradicts the body.

    • He was accused of it though. The accusation was made by the anonymous tipster. Police, upon investigating and finding that it was a prank, couldn’t charge him with trying to sell his kids (because he wasn’t), but they did charge him with something different: posting an ad saying “I’m selling my kids” when he was, in fact, not selling his kids.

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      *sigh* no. It's not illegal and he wasn't charged with "trying to sell his kids on CL." The title contradicts the body.

      title says 'accused' not charged with, and the summary does state what he was actually charged with. And are you honestly claiming that it would not have been illegal if he had been trying to sell his kids on craigslist?

  • Why is if when I click on comments to Idle topics rather than just expanding the comment on this page it opens it in a new window? It's been doing this for months and I've realise it's never going to get fixed so am I the only one getting this?
  • Gee Wiz (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by b4upoo (166390)

    You could not pay me enough money to buy a child!

    • Now, rent one, maybe, if the terms weren't too picky about the state of the child on return... =p

  • "I went to the movie theatre. The sign said 'Children 12 and under - $5.00'. I said, 'Give me two girls and a boy.'"
  • when my children were naughty when selling them looked very attractive ......
  • Not sure how folks couldn't spot this as a hoax right off the bat. A real advertisment would have offered *paying* someone to take the children. (Free Shipping, Next Day Delivery)

  • Santa Claus for sale, slightly used, mint condition, likes children and small pets. Still under extended warranty. Behaves grumpy with times.

    Beard has to be maintained, has to be washed throughout. Get a red coat with a bit of grime at the bottom for free.

    The bottomless bag is broken but should be fairly easy to repair with the right nelfs. Buy now!

    (I've posted this ad on e-bay years ago; guess the police is a bit slow today...)

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