crimesider

Balloon Boy Dad Richard Heene, Not His First Close Encounter With the Law

(MySpace.com)
Photo: Richard Heene.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Richard Heene and his wife could soon face felony charges of perpetrating last week's alleged Colorado balloon hoax. But the balloon boy's father is no stranger to criminal charges.

CBS News' Crimesider confirmed with the City Attorney's office in Los Angeles that Heene was arrested in April 1997 and charged with misdemeanor vandalism, vehicle tampering and disturbing the peace.

Little is known about the nature of the crime or the name of the victim, but according to Heene's criminal record, he pled no contest to vandalism on April 15, 1997.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Attorney's Office, Frank Mateljan, said the vehicle tampering and disturbing the peace charges were dismissed.

Heene was sentenced to 30 days in jail, 2 years probation, and ordered to pay restitution of $100, according to court records obtained by celebrity site TMZ, which say Heene served only four days in jail and was placed under house arrest.

Heene's lawyer David Lane said Monday that he expects authorities to bring charges against his client in the coming days as investigators analyze e-mails that appear to show Richard Heene and an associate discussing the balloon stunt months ago.

Lane said he expects charges to be filed by Wednesday and that Heene and his wife Mayumi are willing to turn themselves in. Lane declined to say directly whether he believes the incident was a hoax but said the Heenes are innocent unless convicted.

MEDIA
Photos: The Bizarre "Balloon Boy" Incident
Audio: Richard Heene's Frantic 911 Call

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  • Edecio Martinez

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