Courts & Crime

'Balloon boy' hoax dad now wants you to buy his inventions

Richard Heene, who settled in Florida last month after the "balloon boy" hoax landed him in a Colorado jail, has started a new business offering relief for those who "itch like a son of a twitch."

On his website and in a video, Heene, who is registered with the Manatee County Sheriff's Office as a convicted felon, is marketing the "Bear Scratch," a device that allows users to scratch an itchy back the same way bears do in the wild. You attach it to a wall, back up against it and then rub yourself up and down.

Heene, who according to reports has long had an itch to get into show business, gives it all, hawking the product in typical TV pitchman fashion. In the video, Heene, who with his family is reportedly staying with his mother in the Waterlefe area of East Manatee, is wearing a University of South Florida baseball cap.

But as a fallback, Heene is trying to pay the bills by working construction, according a report at

A friend told the website: "It seems like a crazy idea but Richard has always fancied himself as an inventor."

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