America

'Balloon Boy' Parents Will Pay $36,000 In Restitution To Authorities

A deal's been struck and OK'd by a judge for parents Richard and Mayumi Heene to pay $36,016.53 to authorities in Larimer County, Colo., to cover the costs associated with the frantic chase of what turned out to be an empty balloon. As you'll likely remember, the Heenes — in an elaborate hoax — had claimed their then-six-year-old son Falcon was flying high over the skies of Fort Collins last October inside the contraption. The "drama" was telecast live across the nation.

NPR's Jeff Brady says "the Larimer County sheriff's office and other agencies had asked for $48,0000 to cover their costs for the incident. But after negotiations with Richard and Mayumi Heene's lawyer, the amount was reduced."

But as The Coloradoan adds, farmer Tyler Abbott still hasn't been compensated for the damage done to his wheat field — where the balloon landed and rescuers drove as they raced to see if Falcon was OK. According to the newspaper:

"Abbott said (yesterday) it's likely that insurance won't cover the damage to the wheat. Instead, he's left to try and claim compensation for a situation he didn't ask for and for which he had no connection, save the force of gravity on the leaking balloon."

Richard Heene, the Associated Press says, has finished serving his 90-day sentence that "included jail time, work release and home detention." Mayumi Heene is performing weekend community service this month.

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