Barney Miller

Season 1 Episode 9


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Mar 20, 1975 on ABC

Episode Recap

Prologue: Fish takes a call about from a woman who was assaulted. When the victim does not give a detailed description of the assailant—saying he's a 'big slob' with 'bad breath'—Fish tries to give it to Barney, who declines. Wojo brings in a man dressed as a woman. He asks why he is being arrested and Wojo says he is being brought in on an 'unclassified misdemeanor.' Barney is surprised at the man. The man tells Wojo his name is Al Schreiber. He asks Barney what an unclassified misdemeanor and Barney tells him that it means that no one can wear a disguise in public. Al says he was just going for a walk. He tells Wojo and Barney that he is a Teamster, and has been driving a truck for 23 years and was in World War II, having been a tank driver in the Marine Corps, winning a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts. Wojo tells Barney, 'I think I know where he got hit.' Fish's caller tells him her assailant had a scar on his right shoe; Fish tells her 'It's called a scuff mark.' Chano then comes in and tells Barney that there is a mugger in the hospital in bad shape. However, he is interrupted by the sight of Al in his outfit. He tells Barney that the mugging victim is all right and Yemana is taking her statement. Barney says that it is the third time in a week that a mugger has been attacked two weeks. Chano says that a woman was mugged and then the mugger was attacked by someone who left before she could thank him. Al asks Barney how long he will be there; he says that as long as it takes for him to make bail. Al says that the Teamsters frown on their members dressing as women. Chano says that he thinks all of the muggers who were attacked by a vigilante. Fish laments that there are no more normal people anymore; he then says hello to Al thinking he's a woman. Part One; Barney has a map where the locations of the muggers being attacked have pins in them. He says the vigilante may be a local resident. There are three red pins, but when Wojo asks about a yellow pin at the top of the map and Barney tells him it's what's holding the map to the board. Al asks to use the bathroom; Fish tells im that they only have a men's room in the squad room, but Al doesn't mind. Chano tells Barney that all the mugging vicitms say that it was a man who had a pipe or a club, but it was too dark to get a look at him. barney tells him to look through the files to see if anyone as a vendetta against muggers, but Wojo takes a call from dispatch telling of a mugging and shooting on 15th and 6th. A patrol car is at the site and they are holding people. Barney sends Chano and Wojo out; as they leave, Inspector Luger, Barney's commanding oficer at NYPD headquarters, comes in. In Barney's office, Luger says he's not only upset over the vigilante, but over Barney's methods of police work: he prefers the old-fashioned way of knocking people around while Barney prefers talking to people. Luger sees a picture of his old racket squad who operated out of the precinct and remembers how they used to operate. He tells Barney that people like him and he should be intimidating them. Barney tells him that he doesn't have the Inspector's personality. Fish interrupts to tell them that Chano and Wojo have brought in the vigilante. Barney leaves Luger to continue his reminicing. Chano brings an a Jacinto Escobar, a Puerto Rican man. He admits to Chano and Barney that he is the vigilante. Luger comes out and tells Escobar that there is no need for any vigilantes. Escobar says that the neigborhood he lives in is dangerous; that his family and friends have been attacked and the police were never around. The woman who was rescued says that it was the second time she was attacked that night; she called it in and said it was a 'big slob with bad breath and a scar on his shoe.' Barney tells Escobar that he will be charged with felonious assault and has Chano book him. Luger decides to leave and asks Barney not to paint the squadroom. Part Two: The district attorney calls and tells Barney that he wants to charge Escobar with felonious assault. Chano gets upset, saying that 'you can't really call it felonious assault if you assault a felonious assualter, can you?' In the cell. Al tells Escobar that he's talked to doctors about why he dresses like a woman. Kogan comes in with Al's bail ticket. Wojo lets him out, and Al asks for no hard feelings. Wojo tells him, 'It's your life. If you want to march through it out of uniform, well...' Al says goodbye to Escobar, then he realizes that it's daylight out and he can't go out dressed like he is. Chano suggests calling a friend to bring him some regular clothes and Al wonders who he could call. Chano suggests a girlfriend. Wojo tells him not to embarrass him, asking what he would do with a girlfriend. Al tells him, 'Same thing you do.' He then says he would call his friend Charlie. Barney tells the detectives that they can leave. Wojo leaves saying, 'Marine, huh? Maureen O'Hara.' Barney tells Escobar that he will be treated fairly. Escobar tells them how when his family left Puerto Rico, he flipped a coin to determine where he would go: heads, to a family chicken farm in New Jersey, tails New York City. It came up heads, but he hates chickens. Al's friend Charlie then comes in with clothes, shocked at how he is dressed. Al tells him he got mugged and stole his clothes. Charlie tells him he owes Al for the cab ride, and Al tells him to take the money out of his purse. Some time later, Escobar comes in to visit as he was seeing his probation officer and gives Barney and Chano a chicken. However, Wojo and Fish come in with a mugger. Escobar then gets nervous and says he has to leave. The mugger claims that he was hit by an old man who talked with a foreign accent and smelled like chickens. Barney says he may be 70, Fish says he was Russian, and Chano says it was like ducks. Barney then tells Chano to put an all-points bulletin for a 70-year-old man with a Russian accent who smells like a chicken for felonious assault. Epilogue: Luger comes in and is still upset over the vigilante. Barney says that people are tired of being ripped off. He says that there aren't enough cops to handle the job. Luger says it isn't like the old days and goes off on another of his rememberances. Barney says he has work to do and starts to leave. Luger asks him to go ahead and paint the place because there 'Ain't no point in livin' in the past.' Barney offers him some coffee, and he asks if they have any Ovaltine.
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