Florida Man Who Tried to Pawn His Infant Son Says He Was Joking—'This Is Not Funny'

A Florida man who became the focus of a police manhunt after appearing to offer his baby to a pawn shop has described the situation as a prank gone wrong.

Sarasota police released footage of the Tuesday incident, which took place at 5:15 p.m in A&F Pawn Jewelry and Loan on North Washington Boulevard. Store owner Richard Jordan warned deputies that a man had made an alarming request: Asking if he could pawn his child.

The person in the video was later identified as Brian Slocum, age 43, of Sarasota. He contacted the local authorities after realizing police had released the video and were searching for him. Slocum gave a statement, claiming he filmed the encounter as a joke for Snapchat.

"Mr. Slocum claims that his encounter with the store clerk was a prank and that he wanted to place his own video on social media," the police department said in a statement yesterday, noting that detectives had verified the child was safe and no charges were being filed.

Slocum told media outlet WFLA he had started making comic videos for the popular application and he went into the Florida pawn store hoping to get an amusing reaction from the clerk.

"This is what I got, I know no one under 18 in here but he's barely used, 7 and a half months old, what do you think he's worth?" he is heard saying in the Snapchat footage about his son, named Caden, who was in a carry cradle at the time. The joke didn't land with the owner.

After Slocum contacted law enforcement, he said dozens of officers descended on his home. "They didn't find it funny or hilarious at all and there was a lot of resources and time and money that went into [the investigation]," the apologetic single dad said. "There's nothing in the world I would trade for my son, he's my world. Nor any money is worth him."

Sarasota Police updated the public yesterday in a statement confirming the baby had been found safe. The department also thanked store owner Jordan for initially raising the alarm.

"We did not know the relationship of Mr. Slocum and his child, therefore, the Sarasota Police Department utilized vast resources from several divisions to locate the child and identify Mr. Slocum," officials said. "The pawn shop clerk did take the comments made by Mr. Slocum very seriously and we appreciate him immediately notifying the Sarasota Police Department."

Florida Man Who Tried to Pawn His Infant Son Says He Was Joking—'This Is Not Funny' | U.S.