SARASOTA, Fla. – A Florida father sought by police after a pawn shop owner notified authorities of a man trying to sell a baby now says he did it as a social media prank.
Police began searching for the man after they were notified Tuesday by an employee of A&F Pawn Jewelry and Loan who was concerned for the child’s welfare.
Surveillance video shows the man walk into the store and place a child carrier on the glass counter.
“This is what I got,” he says in the Snapchat video, according to WFLA. “I know no one under 18 in here but he’s barely used, seven and a half months old, what do you think he’s worth?”
The exchange alarmed the employee enough that he called police, sparking a manhunt that involved several law enforcement divisions. Detectives also notified the Florida Department of Children and Family Services.
The man in the video, 43-year-old Brian Slocum, of Sarasota, saw himself on the news and called the Sarasota Police Department to give a statement.
“They didn’t find it funny or hilarious at all and there was a lot of resources and time and money that went into it,” Slocum told WFLA.
Slocum, who has not been charged with a crime, said he regrets the poor prank and is speaking out to warn others of the potential consequences.
“There’s nothing in the world I would trade for my son, he’s my world,” Slocum said.