Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Balloon Boy: Honest Mistake or Criminal False Reporting?

By now, we’ve all heard about Falcon Heene, the six-year old Colorado boy who was reported to have been onboard a runaway hot-air balloon.  As it turns out, the only hot-air in this story was coming from the boy’s father, Richard Heene.

Initial press reports indicated that young Falcon was onboard the balloon, alone, and was floating aimlessly through the air.  That report set off a massive search-and-rescue operation.  The balloon was eventually found–empty.  Instead of being on the balloon, Falcon was allegedly found “hiding” in the family’s garage.  He came out, almost as if on cue, when he heard his name being called. 

All’s well that ends well, right?  Not exactly.  According to FoxNews,

During a live interview on CNN Thursday night, Falcon said he heard his family calling his name as he hid in the rafters of their garage. At the time, there was a frantic effort to bring down the balloon safely.

Falcon’s father asked, “Why didn’t you come out?” The boy answered, “You had said we did this for a show.”

Later, Richard Heene bristled when the family was asked to clarify and said he didn’t know what his son meant. He didn’t ask his son what he meant by “a show.”

Kids say the darndest things, huh?

Richard Heene, a two-time “star” of ABC reality-show “Wife Swap,” has no verifiable employment (his occupation is “Storm Chaser”), and is reported to have money problems.  A picture is emerging of a man who desperately wants to be famous for nothing, and may be willing to create a hoax like this one to get publicity.  The Larimer County Sheriff’s Department is none-too-happy about Falcon’s statement, and will probably launch a criminal investigation.

Rather than fame, Heene may find infamy.  And he’s likely going to end up being charged with criminal false reporting or a similar crime.  Looks like he is going to find out, the hard way, that lying to the police is a bad idea.

Curt Crowley, Jackson, MS Criminal Defense Lawyer


One response to “Mississippi Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Balloon Boy: Honest Mistake or Criminal False Reporting?

  1. hoax or not, the balloon boy gave his parents a heck of a lot of publicity in return for minimal effort on their part

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