Richard and Mayumi Heene may soon face charges after being accused of trying to whip up a media frenzy with a tall tale about their son floating away in a makeshift flying saucer — but Richard Heene’s lawyer told TODAY Monday that the father of the now-infamous “balloon boy” should not suffer the public indignity of being led away in handcuffs.
“I’ve said, ‘Look, these folks are willing to turn themselves in the minute that you give me the phone call. I will have them in your office within 10 minutes, all right?’ ” attorney David Lane told Matt Lauer.
Lane added that he told authorities: “Do not do the perp walk for media consumption and arrest these people in full view of their children. That’s child abuse. That’s traumatic for kids.”
UPDATE: The media was possibly involved:
Investigators are examining the possibility of other conspirators, "including the possibility that even some of the media outlets may have had some knowledge about this," Alderden said.
Documents show that a media outlet has agreed to pay money to the Heenes with regard to the balloon incident, Alderden said. He didn't name the media outlet, but said it was a show that blurs "the line between entertainment and news." It wasn't clear whether the deal was signed before or after the alleged hoax, or whether that media outlet was a possible conspirator.