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.
MORE ON CRIMESIDER
October 19, 2009 - Richard Heene, Balloon Boy's Father, Wears Bra, Makeup While Ranting on YouTube
October 19, 2009 - Aliens Spoke to Balloon Boy's Father Richard Heene at a Fast-Food Restaurant
October 19, 2009 - Balloon Boy Dad Richard Heene Thinks World Will End in 2012; Will He Be Out of Jail by Then
October 19, 2009 - Balloon Boy Family's Homophobic Rant in Rap Video
October 19, 2009 - "Mad Scientist" Richard Heene Cooked Up Balloon Boy Hoax Months Ago, Says Denver Man
October 16, 2009 - Balloon Boy Drama Was "Real Event," Says Sheriff
October 16, 2009 - Balloon Boy Falcon Heene 911 Call Released
October 16, 2009 - It Sure Wasn't Altitude Sickness, But Balloon Boy Falcon Heene Throws Up Twice on National TV