WABC-TV weather forecaster Heidi Jones was suspended Wednesday for filing a hoax police report about a fake stalker and an assault at Central Park.
The reported suspension was announced on the station’s noon telecast. WABC-TV insiders said Jones, who joined the station in 2005, would likely be released from her position at WABC-TV after an internal investigation.
The 37-year-old weather woman was arrested for telling cops a man of Hispanic origin attacked her in the park on Sept. 24 – and that he returned to threaten her two months later, a police source said.
She told police the second “occurrence” happened near her apartment in Manhattan on Nov. 21 – three days before Jones went to the police with her story, a source said.
“She tries to paint the picture of a stalker, but things don’t add up,” the source said. “We’re thinking, she doesn’t want there to be any witnesses we can talk to, so she’s as vague as possible.”
Heidi Jones fill-in as the anchor of WABC’s weekend weather forecasts for “Good Morning America.”
Fans of the forecaster weighed in on her Facebook page with supports and criticizes.
“I sincerely hope you overcome the problems in your life right now,” wrote one backer. “Stay strong, and ignore the haters, for none of us is without faults.”
Another critic offered a more critical take: “You are a disgrace and I hope you lose your job.”
Paul Callan, an attorney for Jones, said she intends to plead innocent to the charges.
“Ms. Jones has had a distinguished career as a broadcast journalist and urges all concerned to refrain from jumping to conclusions about the unproven charges against her being discussed in the press,” Callan said.
“On my advice she will make no comment until the matter is resolved in court.”
Heidi Jones claimed she was jogging through Central Park in late September when a man attacked her and dragged her into a wooded area, the source said. She claimed her attacker bolted when two tourists saw the incident and screamed – but she never reported the attack to police.
The forecaster appeared at the 6th Precinct in late November to report she was approached again “by the same man who did this before,” the source said.
Once police began investigating her tale, the story quickly unravelled. Jones told police she was having troubles in her relationship and thought reporting the phony crimes would gain her sympathy.
Jones – who’s due in court on Jan. 5 – could face up to a year in prison if convicted.
The weather woman is a passionate jogger, and came to New York from Houston – where she was honored as best weather anchor in the Lone Star State.
Heidi Jones grew up in Indiana, and worked in Albany, N.Y., and Billings, Mont., before moving into bigger markets.
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