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Police: Woman Tries to Sell Kid for Gas Money

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WTSP: According to Melbourne, Florida police, a 37-year-old woman was arrested on a child-neglect charge Friday afternoon after a tow truck driver told police the mother offered to sell her child in exchange for gas money.

Marcy Pappalardo faces a charge of child neglect in connection with the report. Police are continuing their investigation.

Sgt. Michael Casey of Melbourne police said officers learned of a 9-1-1 call about 3 p.m. from a tow truck driver who said a woman had tried to sell him her 6-year-old boy in exchange for gas money at a gas station near U.S. 1 and Lake Washington Road.

The driver refused, Melbourne police said, and then followed the mother who was in a white sedan with her child and another woman as he called police.

"He rolled up his window and followed her. They drove all across north Melbourne," Casey said.

The white sedan was pulled over in Suntree by police. Pappalardo was questioned and arrested. Her 6-year-old boy sat on the trunk of the car and cried as his mother was led away.

Roy Baijnath, the tow-truck driver who lives in Palm Bay, told the Florida Today he was concerned about the child's safety.

"You know, I have mixed feelings. To see the kid crying like that on TV was tough. I caused that upon him and I have a kid of my own," Baijnath said Friday night. "But had it been the other way, where would the child be?"

Mallory Acker, who was in the car with Pappalardo, told police the tow truck driver requested sex with the woman in exchange for gas money.

"When she refused, he made up this story for police," Acker said.

No other arrests were made.

Baijnath said Friday night that there was no mention of sex in the conversation.

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2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Laura October 6, 2009, 10:27 PM

What the heck? I visited after reading an article that mentioned a new talk show with Paula Dean might be coming that was in conjunction with this site and all I have seen here are articles posted about HORRIBLE train-wreck mothers that try to sell their kids for gas money, make them ride on the roofs of vehicles, find kids they gave up for adoption and rape them - what the heck is wrong with the world - and what is wrong with this site? I was expecting mom-discussions, maybe recipes and possible tips on raising kids. What a let down!

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 4:36 PM

Good article! Good and fun reading. I have a single thing to submit about funny t-shirts.

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