Richard Heene, father of six-year-old Falcon Heene, AKA “Balloon Boy,” is now behind bars. He reported to jail Monday to begin a 90-day jail sentence.
The Oct. 15, 2009 “Balloon Boy” incident was derided as a hoax after investigators determined that the Heene family, specifically Richard and mother Mayumi Heene, had intended to use the incident to springboard themselves into reality TV. The family had said that Falcon was in the “cabin” of a homemade UFO-shaped balloon, and rescuers and pursuers spend much time and effort trying to “save” him.
Things began to unravel for the Heenes when they appeared on CNN and Falcon said, when asked why he hid in the garage when people called out to him, “You had said that we did this for the show.”
However, despite pleading guilty for a relatively light charge of attempting to influence a public servant, Richard Heene remains adamant that there was no hoax. He said he truly believed his son was inside the balloon when it floated away in October, and that he pleaded guilty only to save his wife from being deported to Japan.
Mayumi Heene, a citizen of Japan, faces 20 days in jail, but she can take it in staggered spurts and starts. In addition to their jail time, the Heenes must also pay restitution for the rescue effort, which included the Colorado National Guard launching two helicopters to track the balloon and possibly rescue the boy. Prosecutors estimate the Heenes owe $48,000, though Richard Heene’s attorney could provide a different estimate by a Jan. 25 deadline.
Watch an interview between Richard Heene and Matt Lauer of the Today Show, aired January 8th, in which Heene alleges Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden is a “liar.”
Originally on SNAFU-ed