Six-year old Falcon Heene, better known as "Balloon Boy", floated away in a saucer-like balloon last Thursday in Colorado. At least that's what his father told officials. However, two hours after the whole ordeal began, the balloon landed in a field 50 miles away without the boy inside. The six-year-old was later located in the family's own garage hiding in a box. Larimer County Sheriff later revealed the whole thing was a hoax after the child responded to his father on national television that he didn't come out because his father told him it was for a show.
Officials are saying that this stunt was orchestrated by the father to get himself a reality TV show. The boy's parents, Richard and Mayumi Heene, are currently under investigation and may be facing criminal charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and providing false information to authorities. To be guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor in the state of California, Penal Code 272 requires that a parent or legal guardian cause substantial risk of serious physical harm or illness to his/her minor child as a result of his/her failure or inability to adequately supervise or protect the child. The punishment for this misdemeanor offense can be up to a fine of $2,500 or 1 year in county jail.
To be guilty of providing false information to authorities, California Penal Code 148.3 requires a false "emergency' report to a city, county, or state agency. This misdemeanor offense carries a punishment of a $1,000 fine or 1 year county jail. However, if the person making the false report knows that the response is likely to cause death or great bodily injury and either of those results because of the false report, punishment is then enhanced to prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 and is then charged as a felony.
Criminal Law Updates from the Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo. Please call (714) 547-4636 today to get your free consultation.