Who didn't see this coming? After learning just a little about the family - with their great desire to be on television reality shows as storm chasers or wife swappers or whatever it is that they think they have that would make the rest of the population tune in. The six-year-old clearly gave it away when he said, "you said we did this for a show." The Dad has tried frantically to spin it a hundred different ways since the words were uttered out of the mouth of a babe. I'm not falling for it. Any of it.
I mean, come on, now. Instead of a FIRST frantic call to 911 the Dad called the FAA, then he called a television station. Only after making sure he had some "coverage," did anyone bother to peskily call 911. As a mother - who probably never would have had a balloon like that in my back yard to begin with - if I had, and I thought my child was in it, I would not have needed to call 911 because my screaming would have been heard to all 911 operators within a hundred mile radius - but 911 would have been my FIRST call, not my third. Let 911 contact the FAA and let a television station find out via a scanner or however it is they find stuff out.
Charges are pending - some weak "Class 3 midsdmeanor" charge. Sheriff Jim Alderden "didn't say who would be charged or what the charges would be." However he is "talking to the district attorney [and] federal officials to see if perhaps there aren't additional federal charges that are appropriate in this circumstance." Oh my gosh. 'Ya think? Filing a false report for starters - is that the misdemeanor charge? And, what about making the Dad, Richard Heene, reimburse the city and state and federal government for ALL of the resources used during the farce? Jail time. Something. [No. Not jail time. But house arrest and some community service. I want the man to be able to support his family because I don't want to have to pay for him to sit in a cell where he would be given plenty of time to think up his "next big thing" and get three meals a day and cable t.v., too.]
I didn't get to see the spectacle. It must have happened late enough so that I didn't have the news on, here. I switch the channel after Bill O'Reilly, which is on at noon, here. Regardless, this family needs to learn that actions have consequences. Big consequences, not a slap on the wrist. Somewhere I read that if someone died as a result of all the emergency services being tied up with the balloon chase, then that person's family needs to sue the pants off the Heene family. [I'd link and give credit for where I read that, if I could remember where it was. My appologies...] I agree. Make an example out of this so that no one else will consider pulling such a stunt ever again. Taxpayers who, so far, will be responsible for footing the bill for all of the emergency personnel who were involved - including whatever armed forces were sent out in helicopters or planes - need to be outraged at this ridiculous waste.
Throw the book at the Heene family and get that six-year-old some counseling - deprogramming - whatever is needed so that he knows that this isn't the way real life is supposed to be. At least the kid was being honest even if the parents couldn't be. That family is messed up...