Balloon Boy family's craziness may be contagious

The latest developments in the Balloon Boy case -- i.e., Larimer County authorities declaring the whole thing to have been a hoax -- seem to have frayed the nerves of the Heene family's Fort Collins neighbors. Clips like this one from Friday, in which a woman defends the clan ("This was not a joke!" she declares), have given way to expressions of betrayal exemplified by the clip after the jump. Even more extreme is footage aired last night by Channel 7: In it, a nearby resident chewing out reporters for blocking access to his car is tackled and pummeled by another guy, for reasons unknown. Meanwhile, CSU student Robert Thomas has told Gawker that he helped Heene dad Richard plan a weather balloon hoax -- information for which Gawker paid him. Networks, cable-news purveyors and news websites have presumably made plenty of green off this nutty escapade, too, and will continue to do so in the near term. And the balloonatics themselves? At this point, not so much.

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