- A pawnshop owner in Sarasota, Florida called the police on Tuesday when a man came into his shop and asked to pawn his 7-month-old son.
- That man, 43-year-old Brian Slocum, said it was all part of a joke and that he never intended to part with his baby.
- Sarasota Police said they informed the Florida Department of Children and Families but have no plans to charge Slocum, a single father, at this time.
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A Florida father launched a manhunt on Tuesday after he took his baby son to a pawn shop and tried to sell him.
But Brian Slocum, 43, said it was all a joke and that he never actually meant to part with his 7-month-old son Caden.
In an interview with WFLA, Slocum said he recently set up a Snapchat account, which he’s been using to post funny videos.
So while the single father was driving around with his son in the car Tuesday evening, he decided to stop by A&F Pawn Jewellery and Loan in Sarasota to record himself pretending to try and sell the boy.
But the owner of the shop, Richard Johnson, didn’t get the joke.
“The weirdest, strangest situation we’ve ever encountered,” Jordan told WFLA. “He put it on the counter, he was pretty serious about it. He spun the baby around, and said, ‘Can I pawn this?'”
Slocum’s Snapchat video of the encounter, which WFLA viewed, showed him asking how much the boy would be worth.
“He’s barely used, 7 ½ months old, what do you think he’s worth?” Slocum asked, according to WFLA.
Slocum said he thought Jordan would get the joke, but he didn’t, so he left shortly after, according to WFLA. He was reportedly only in the store for about a minute.
As soon as Slocum left the store, Jordan says he called the police.
“This is not funny! This is not funny, this is serious business,” Jordan told WFLA.
Within hours, Slocum realised police were searching for him. So he called and explained the situation.
Cops came to his house, confirmed that Caden was OK and left without arresting Slocum. Police said they have no plans to charge Slocum, but that they did inform the Florida Department of Children and Families, according to the Herald-Tribune.
“It was a prank, it was a skit,” Slocum told WFLA. “There’s nothing in the world I would trade for my son; he’s my world.”
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