Richard and Mayumi Heene may soon face charges after being accused of trying to whip up a media frenzy with a tall tale about their son floating away in a makeshift flying saucer — but Richard Heene’s lawyer told TODAY Monday that the father of the now-infamous “balloon boy” should not suffer the public indignity of being led away in handcuffs.
“I’ve said, ‘Look, these folks are willing to turn themselves in the minute that you give me the phone call. I will have them in your office within 10 minutes, all right?’ ” attorney David Lane told Matt Lauer.
Lane added that he told authorities: “Do not do the perp walk for media consumption and arrest these people in full view of their children. That’s child abuse. That’s traumatic for kids.”
The ‘Great Balloon Hoax’
Four days after the Heene family captured the nation’s attention as law enforcement went on a desperate chase for the runaway balloon constructed by their amateur-scientist dad — in the mistaken notion that the Heenes’ 6-year-old son, Falcon, was trapped inside — the Larimer County Sheriff’s Department is close to charging Richard and wife Mayumi Heene in what is being billed as the “Great Balloon Hoax.”
Police interviewed the Heenes and searched their home over the weekend. Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden said his department has asked prosecutors to consider possible charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, false reporting to a public official and attempt to influence public officials.