'Balloon Boy' Dad Invents Back Scratcher
Richard Heene Promotes 'Bear Scratch' Invention
Last Updated: 1139 days ago
A little more than a year after the Colorado "Balloon Boy" saga that gripped much of the world, the man behind the hoax is selling a homemade back scratcher.Richard Heene, who served 28 days jail time for his part in an elaborate hoax involving one of his sons and a helium balloon, moved his family to Bradenton, Fla., last August.Authorities accused Richard and Mayumi Heene of staging the hoax to promote a possible TV reality show. Mayumi was sentenced to community service for her part in the ruse. Both were ordered to pay for the cost of the search for 6-year-old Falcon Heene after his parents said he took off in an experimental balloon.Falcon was found hours later when he came out of hiding in an area above the garage of the family home, apparently having been missed in several searches of the house by sheriff's deputies.As questions were raised about the balloon being a publicity stunt, Richard Heene called the accusations "extremely pathetic." It was only after additional questioning that Richard and Mayumi Heene admitted the whole thing was a hoax.Their total bill for restitution and fines assessed by a Larimer County judge was $37,063.03.Terms of the couple's probation included not selling their story or profiting from the saga until December 2013.Now, Richard Heene is using the Internet to sell a $20 "Bear Scratch" back scratcher, which consists of a 36-inch length of tree branch with holders that attach to a wall."You ever walk in the woods and see a bear break off a branch and scratch his back?" Heene asks in his promotional video. "No, he uses the entire tree."Heene, during a video demonstration, points to his invention and yells, "That is a bear scratch, yeah!"Richard Heene said on his website that he has a patent pending on his back scratcher.