Monday, October 19, 2009

The Boy in the Balloon - Famous or Notorious?

by Robert L. Gisel

The boy in the balloon, if nothing else, is now famous, thanks to an otherwise bored bunch of reporters.

Would hate to be the council on this one. Soon the prosecutors will have it up mayhem charges. He's a terrorist for sure, right?

Interesting deal though. How would one defend a PR stunt in Freedom of Expression or Article 1 of the UN bill of Rights, that is viewed by the Sheriff as a convoluted hoax? Is this crying fire! in a theatre as a joke that stampeded the crowd on a false report? Or is it not, where no no one was hurt or any physical damage caused? Expenses, yes. Practical joke or felony fraud? What do you think? Maybe this keeps him the Sheriff from getting bored in Larimer County.

Larimer County Sheriff Jim Alderden comes across in the news report as a real redneck, doing his job as a pugilistic antagonist, lending all the makings for a great screenplay.

"The sheriff said he expected to recommend charges of conspiracy, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, making a false report to authorities and attempting to influence a public servant. Federal charges were also possible.

The most serious charges are felonies and carry a maximum sentence of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Alderden said they would be seeking restitution for the costs, though he didn't have an estimate"

The Sheriff was dissatisfied with the original misdemeanor charges and has to dig deep for some felony charges. How did he get email conversations with the alleged co-conspirator, by the way? Sounds illegal.

Clearly the boy in the balloon incident is a case of "I shot the Sheriff; I did not shoot the Deputy."

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