FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
They both went to acting school, but they weren't quite good enough to carry this off.
Police say balloon boy was a bust, a made-up story designed to get Richard and Mayumi Heene a reality TV show.
Using their sons as props in a poorly-produced one act play, it took a question from Wolf Blitzer to little six-year-old Falcon to expose the whole ruse. And when the family went on television to talk about it, little Falcon, who knew it was all a lie, got sick and threw up-twice. But that didn't stop the attention-starved Richard Heene from trying desperately to be noticed. Now he has been, but not the way he wanted.
Police say the investigation is still under way and charges are likely for several felonies: conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and attempting to influence a public servant. There could also be a misdemeanor charge for filing a false police report.
The most serious charges carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Federal charges are possible as well. Whatever it adds up to it isn't enough.
Authorities also want the taxpayers' money back that was spent on this wild goose chase. In addition to local police and first responders, the National Guard mobilized two helicopters in a rescue attempt.
A lawyer for the Heenes says they're not "running from the law" and if a warrant is issued they will turn themselves in.
Here’s my question to you: Should the balloon boy's parents face criminal prosecution?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
I have many years experience in the mental health field, particularly with abused children. This is a family at-risk and they are most at-risk from the parents, specifically the clearly unstable father. Whether or not they face criminal prosecution, first and foremost these kids need to be removed from his care.
Kurtis from New Haven says:
Jack, Time to send them a bill and move on. Jail? Really? Is that what we've come to? It reminds me of April Fools Day. Everyone's all snickers and giggles until the joke is on them. Then it's revenge. They pulled one over on us. Get over it.
Doug from Dallas says:
Considering the effort and dollars expended for the fraud perpetrated, yes. They should be made to repay all of the costs associated with the entire hoax. But they sure did get what they wanted thanks to the news media. Are you guys going to send them a bill?
Jack, I see two people picking up trash along side the highway in Ft. Collins, Colorado for a long time.
Catrina from Virginia says:
Too bad they can’t just be banned from appearing on TV. Somehow I think for these people that would be the worst punishment of all.
Absolutely! What if there was a true emergency elsewhere while these officials were off chasing this guy's attention-seeking balloon, or if some of the rescuers had crashed? They definitely need to repay the costs of the rescue operation at the very least.
Jim from Chicago says:
Jack, I would give these reality show publicity hounds all the attention that they crave. Let's start with an appearance for them on "COPS" followed by "Lockup."
They should be prosecuted and if found guilty, strapped into a weather balloon and set adrift.