Parents Likely To Face Charges In Balloon Hoax
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
After all the hoopla over the fate of the so-called Balloon Boy last week, police now say the whole thing was a hoax, and they plan to seek charges.
NPR's Allison Keyes reports.
ALLISON KEYES: Breathless news anchors followed the progress of the homemade silver balloon shaped like a flying saucer. CNN cut away from President Obama's speech.
Unidentified Woman: Some pretty unbelievable pictures, coming to us live.
KEYES: Richard and Mayumi Heene said their 6-year-old son, Falcon, was aboard. But when the balloon landed, the family claimed that he had been hiding in the attic the whole time. Then Falcon told his father during a CNN interview…
(Soundbite of CNN broadcast)
Mr. FALCON HEENE: We did this for a show.
KEYES: As a suspicious public furrowed its brow, "Saturday Night Live" spoofed the incident, using a talking balloon to tell comedian Seth Meyers…
(Soundbite of TV show, "Saturday Night Live")
Unidentified Man: (as Talking Balloon) It was a hoax.
Mr. SETH MEYERS (Comedian, "Saturday Night Live"): Yeah, we know.
(Soundbite of laughter)
KEYES: Yesterday, Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden agreed.
Sheriff JIM ALDERDEN (Larimer County, Colorado): On the bizarre meter, this rates a 10.
Unidentified Man: Yeah. Yeah.
(Soundbite of laughter)
KEYES: But police aren't amused by the money and manpower spent on the case. Alderden says the Heenes are actors who fully involved their children in what police called a publicity stunt aimed at getting the family a reality TV show.
Mr. ALDERDEN: They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it.
KEYES: Alderden says police are recommending felony charges be filed in this case, including contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He adds that there's no evidence of remorse.
Allison Keyes, NPR News.
MONTAGNE: The Heenes are now represented by Denver attorney David Lane. He notes that they are willing to turn themselves in should any charges be filed.
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