Barney Miller (1975–1982): Season 1, Episode 9 - Vigilante - full transcript

Inspector Luger visits Barney to complain that the public doesn't dislike his men enough. Wojo arrests a cross-dressing teamster. A neighborhood vigilante is "over the hill."

12th Precinct, Fish.

Yes, madam.

What time did it happen?

Can you describe the assailant?

Big slob.

Can you give us anything more

to go on than that, madam?

Bad breath.

Not my customer.

Take that seat over there.

Why am I being arrested?

I told you.

It's called

an unclassified misdemeanor.

Sit down.

Good evening.

Good evening.

Your full name, please?

Al Schrieber.

Your full name?

Allen, Albert... just plain Al.

Excuse me, but could you tell me

exactly what is

an unclassified misdemeanor?

The law states a person

is not allowed to
wear a disguise

in public.


You on your way to a party,

Mr. Schrieber?

No, I was just
out for a little walk.

Yeah, well,

you're not allowed to do that.

But I wasn't bothering anybody.

The point is, the
law prohibits anyone

from attempting to
conceal his identity.

But I'm not hiding anything.

I told you my
name, and I... I live

at 575 East Third
Street, And I... See?

I've been a truck
driver for 23 years.

You drive a truck?


A little truck.

Twenty-ton rig,

and I drove a tank
during the war...

Third Division,

United States Marine Corps.

You saw combat
in the Marine Corps?

South Pacific.

Silver Star... Two
Purple Hearts.

I think I know where he got hit.

He had a scar?

Where was this scar?

On the right side of his foot.

Wasn't he wearing shoes?

He was.

The scar was on the right shoe.

Lady, that's
called a scuff mark.

Barney, we got a lot
of trouble on our hands.

Excuse me.

That's okay.

We got... Good evening.

Good evening.

What's up?

Oh, we got a
mugger in the hospital

in really bad shape.

Again? Yeah.

How about the victim?

The victim's fine.
As a matter of fact,

Yemana is over at the house now

taking a statement from her.

That's the third
time in two weeks.

It's gotta be more
than just a coincidence.

This is Mr. Schrieber.

Mr. Schrieber?


Good evening, Al.

Good evening.

Well, well?

Oh, right, yeah.

This lady, a Miss
Celia Rodriguez,

was attacked at
9:32 this evening

by a Mr. James Christopher,

who was then attacked
by a person unknown.

Struck this James Christopher,

and psst... disappeared,

before Miss Rodriguez
could thank him

for saving her money
and possibly her life.

Isn't that just
dandy? That's it.

Where are the files on
the other two muggings?

Oh, right on my desk.

Mr. Schrieber, you
been to a party?

He's been out for a walk.

No kidding.

Excuse me,

but am I going to
be here very long?

Long as it takes
you to make bail.

Well, I hope this ain't
going to be a big deal.

I mean, you know,
the Teamsters union

frowns on things like this.

Would you like to use the phone?

Yeah, yeah, thanks.

Hey, Barney, you
know, all these muggers

in the hospital,

I got a feeling that
they were all put there

by the same man.

I think he's right, Barn.

Yeah, just what we
need... a vigilante.

Stealing, hitting, cursing...

Where are all the normal people?

Good evening. How are you?

Fine, thanks. How's yourself?

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Now, all three mugging incidents

took place within 10 blocks

of each other,

so it's entirely possible

that our vigilante
is a local resident.

There's Ninth and McDougall,

14th and Gramercy,
and Second and Hudson.

What's that yellow pin

up there in East River?

That's what's
holding up the map.

Oh, I see.

Excuse me,

but may I use your toilet?

You want me to
take you downstairs?

We only have a men's room.

I always use the men's room.



Isn't that odd?

What do we know so far?

Well, Barney, all of the victims
agree that the vigilante was a man,

but it was always too dark
to get a good look at him.

Anyway, they all said that he
carried a pipe or a club, but...

All right. Let's go to
work... into the files.

Let's get a list of all the
assault victims in this area...

12th Precinct, Wojciehowicz.

Check the names, see if
you can think of any relatives

that have some
kind of vendetta...

We'll be right there.

Barney, Barney. There's
been a mugging and a shooting

over at 15th and Sixth.

There's a patrol car there,

and they're holding some people.

Chano, you go with him.

Right. Yeah. Let's get on it.

Hi, inspector.


Hello, Fish. How are you?

Inspector Luger,
nice to see you.

Likewise, I'm sure.

Hi, Barney.


What's happening?

Armed assault over
on Sixth Avenue.

The boys are checking it out.

Looks like you got

your own little personal
crime wave here, eh?

We have been a little
busier than usual, yes.

That's what I want
to talk to you about.

Come in the office.


Good evening, madam.

Good evening.


All right.

What's going on

in this precinct
of yours, Barney?

You deputizing citizens?

Oh, yeah.

We have had a few incidents.


You got some crazy kookaboo
running around out there

with a loaded
gun doing your job.

We're working on it, inspector.

Yeah, yeah, and I know
how you're working on it too.

You're conducting seminars
for the underprivileged,

the misunderstood...
Love thy neighbor,

cooperate with the law.

Barney, that's a lot of bushwa.

We each have our own method.

I know.

You talk to people.

You get involved with them.

I read your reports.

I just don't believe in
running around kicking tail.

I think you get
more accomplished

by talking to people.


Barney, the... Ah...
My old racket squad

used to operate out
of here, you know,

right out of this precinct.

Busted a lot of heads pretty
good in them days, Barney.

Kept them hoodlums
out of this precinct.

But you... You, Barney,

you're getting the
worst reputation in town.

People like you!

Sorry about that.

Yeah, that ain't just
idle gossip, neither.

I seen it. I seen it
with my own eyes.

People walk up to you,
"Hiya, Barney. How are you?"

What the hell is that?

"Hiya, Barney."

What, are you some kind of
Playboy Bunny, Barney? Huh?

"Oh! Oh!

Yes, sir, Captain Miller."

That's the way
you talk to a cop.

That's respect.

I just don't have

the benefit of your
personality, inspector.

Ah, well... Take a
look at them, huh?

Them are the hands of a cop.

Look at that...

Broken, twisted,
bruised, chipped, eh?

You, Barney, you
got the hands of a...

of a law-enforcement officer.

I know you're trying
to insult me, inspector.

I just can't seem
to take offense.

Boy, me and Foster,
Kleiner and Brown,

we'd take them punks into
the men's room, you know,

play ricky-rack, tick-tack,
give the dog a bone

right on top of their skulls.

They behaved after that too.

You can believe me, boy.

Me and Foster,
Kleiner and Brown,

we did a job then, boy...

♪ With a rick-rack, tick-tack
Give the dog a bone... ♪

I'm sorry, Barn.

I didn't mean to get
sentimental on you.

It's nothing.

Excuse me, Barney.

Chano and Wojciehowicz
are just coming in.

They think they
got the vigilante.

Good. Coming, inspector?

Nah. Nah, nah. You
go ahead, Barney.

I'll be with you in a minute.

You're going to
give him his rights

and all that.

I hate that kind of stuff.

♪ With a rick-rack Tick-tack ♪

♪ Give the dog a bone ♪

Tell me something.
How come the police

ain't never around
when you need them?

Now, we got there
as fast as we could.

Yeah, well, you didn't get there

as fast as that good
old PR with his pistol.

Don't you mean "Puerto Rican"?

I mean, he saved my fanny.

Barney, this is Jacinto Escobar.

He was caught intervening

in an attempted assault

on Mrs. McBee there,

and this was on his person.

This belong to you?

Yes, that is my gun,

but you don't understand.

I am not the man.

It was the other man
who attacked the lady.

But you are the man who attacked
the man who attacked the lady.

I was only trying to help her.

Do you have a permit for this?

Qué es permit?

Ah, yes. Yes.

You do have a permit?

No, no.

Do you make a habit

of doing things like this,

Mr. Escobar?



And it's happened before?

Many times.

Earlier this evening?


Barney, what's going on here?

This is Mr. Escobar,
a gentleman with

an overdeveloped
sense of justice.


Oh, you're the fella

that's been running around town

taking potshots at the bad guys?

Huh? What are you, some
kind of Zorro or something?


Ho, ho, ho.

Talk American.

This is a civilized community,

Señor Escobar.

There ain't no need for any...

How do you say "vigilante"

in Spanish?


There's no need
for any vigilante

running around the
streets with a gun.

There is if you live
in my neighborhood.


It's very dangerous.

People are murdered,
robbed, raped...

Oh, look, look,
your neighborhood

ain't no different
from anybody else's.

Please, I am not a
man who likes trouble,

but they attacked my family.

They injured my friends.

And always the police
are somewhere else.

Busy. Busy.

Busy giving parking
tickets and making movies.

Please, Mrs. McBee,
would you mind?

Yes, I mind!

I mean, this is the
second time tonight

I almost got ripped off.

You were assaulted
twice tonight?

Yeah, I called
in and reported it.

I almost got killed
at 9:00 tonight

by some big slob with bad breath

and a scar on his shoe.

Well, hello, there.

Detective Wojciehowicz,

would you get a
complete statement

from Mrs. McBee?

Sure, captain.

Mr. Escobar, I'm afraid we're
going to have to hold you.

We'll probably charge you

with felonious assault.

Has he got a lawyer?

Yeah, his family
is taking care of it.

Ah, it's a shame he
ain't a cop, Barney.

He'd have got a medal.

As it is, he'll probably
get one to five.


Yeah, well, I won't hold you up.

I know you're busy.

You got a lot of things to
discuss with, uh, Señor...

That certain person.

What with him
being a human being

and all that, you know?

Oh, listen, Barney,

do me one favor, will you?


Don't ever paint this place.

Barney, district
attorney's office

on line two.

Uh, yes.

Uh, yes, uh...
His name is, uh...

Jacinto Escobar.

Yeah, I don't think there's
any question about it.

He's the one.

Well, there are
extenuating circumstances

in this case.

I mean, it's about
motivation, it's...

I know we want to
discourage this sort of thing,

so do I, but, uh...
Yeah. Yes, I understand.

Very political.

Yes, I understand.

Yes, I know... people like me.

Okay, you'll have
him within the hour.


What'd he say?

Oh, he wants a conviction
on felonious assault.

What, what, what?
You're surprised?

No, no, no, but, I mean,

you can't really call
it felonious assault

if you assault a felonious
assaulter, can you?

You got a point in
there somewhere.


Meanwhile, fill out
the transfer papers

and get him down
to the DA's office.

All right, Barney. I'll
take care of him. Boy.

You see, I talked to
a couple of doctors

about this, you know,

and they say it's because

I had a strong mother
and a weak father,

so I identify with my mother,

but, you know... I see.

But I don't buy it.

I don't go for that
psychiatric junk, no how.

Then why do you dress like that?

I don't know.

It just makes me feel pretty.

Hey, Fish.


Bail bondsman just put
up the ticket for Schrieber.

Thanks, Kogan.

Turn him loose, Wojo.

Yeah, yeah.

Okay, Schrieber,

just take it on out of here.


No hard feelings, huh?

It's your life.

If you want to march through it

out of uniform, well...

See you around, Mr. Escobar.


Be careful walking the streets.


Hey, it's daylight out there.

Yeah, you go out like that,

you're liable to
get arrested again.

Yeah, but what am I going to do?

I mean, I didn't
bring anything else.

What have you got under that?

Oh... You know, usual stuff.

What "usual stuff"?

Well, I... A whalebone girdle

and wool support stockings?

What kind of junk is that?

It's the only kind of
"usual stuff" I know.

Nobody wears things
like that anymore.

Maybe you don't,

but I have personal knowledge

of someone who does.

Why don't you call up
a friend or something,

bring you over
some clothes, huh?

Who am I going to call?

I don't know.

The guys I work with,

they don't know
anything about this.

Well, I don't
know. A girlfriend?

Chano. What?

Don't embarrass the guy.

What's he going to
do with a girlfriend?

Same thing you do.

It's getting too deep for me.

Look, there's got to be
somebody you can call.

What about your
father or your mother?

No, no, my father is dead,

and I... My mother
and I don't speak.

I understand.

Maybe I gotta call Charlie

after all, huh?

Charlie a friend of yours?

Yeah... He was, up until now.

Okay, day tour
commander just checked in.

You guys can split.

Great. Thanks, Barney.

Thank you.

Marine, huh?

Maureen O'Hara.

Good luck, Mr. Escobar.

Thank you.

So long, Chano.

Anything I can do for you?

Thank you. You're very kind.


Mr. Escobar,

I want to assure you
you'll be treated fairly.

For how long I will go to jail?

It's up to the DA and the judge.

You better see a lawyer.

Thank you.

It's funny, you know.

I have a cousin who
has a chicken farm

in Teaneck, New Jersey.

When we left Puerto Rico,

I had to make a choice.

New York City or
Teaneck, New Jersey.

So I decided to toss a coin.

All the whole family
stood around in a circle

and I flip the coin into the air

and I watched it turning,

turning, turning...

Heads, chicken farm,

tails, New York City.

It was heads...
But I hate chickens.

Excuse me. You got a guy up here

by the name of Al Schrieber?

Right here.



It's me, Charlie.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah.

I know, Charlie,
I recognize you.

Well, you're one up on me.

What are you all made up for?

Oh, this... It's just, uh...

You see, I got mugged, Charlie,

and they stole my clothes.

No kidding.


Right, right.

Can I dress in there?

Sure, go right ahead.


Hey, Al. Yeah, Charlie?

You owe me 3.90 for the cab.

Take it out of my purse.

Nick. Nick?

Where are Yemana and Harris?

Huh? Oh, they went out to
lunch. You want something?

Yeah, I got a
special assignment...

Tactical squad. Want to go?

Well, listen, I
don't mind, but...

Buenas días.

Hey, Mr. Escobar!

I was in the city

to see my probation officer

and some of my family,

and I thought

to stop by, say hello,

and bring you a little gift.

What's that?

Hey, hey, hey...

That's what I call a chicken.

That's really nice.

It's very nice to eat,

but you wouldn't
want to live with them.

You get used to it, huh?

It's strange how something

that tastes that good

can smell so bad.

I keep telling you
it was an accident.

The lady fell down.

Yeah, and when
she hit the ground,

she broke her arm and her jaw...

And her jewelry and her money

bounced off the sidewalk

and landed in your pocket, eh?

Come on, sit down.

Hello, Escobar. How are you?

Fine, thank you, well.

Uh, I, uh...

It was very nice seeing you,

but I must go.

I have to catch a bus.

Oh, well, it was
good seeing you.


Hey, so long, Mr. Escobar.

Hey, I want to see a lawyer.

You're gonna need
more than a lawyer

if that old lady
doesn't pull through.

Yeah? What about me?

What about the nut
that hit me with a club

and put four
stitches in my head?

What are you going
to do about that?

What nut hit you with a club?

That punk hit an old woman

and an irate citizen intervened.

Did you get a good
look at the guy?

Sure, I did. He was an old guy.

Yeah, how old?

I don't know.

Well, 50, 60?

Yeah, maybe.


Yeah. Look, he was a foreigner.

What kind of foreigner?

Well, how do I know?

He didn't talk right.
He talked funny.

Probably Russian.

Could have been.

Lousy Commie.

And he smelled funny.

How funny?

Well, I don't know.

Sort of like, um...
like chickens.

Or ducks?


Yeah, like they
have on them farms.

Uh, you don't think, um...

I don't know. Could be.

Chano... issue an
all-points bulletin.

Well, Barney, I
mean... Are you sure?

Yeah, I'm sure.

To all law-enforcement

Wanted for felonious assault...

A 70-year-old man
with a Russian accent

who smells like a chicken.

Or a duck.

Or a duck.

You want me to get on
that right away, Barney?

Sure. You got
something better to do?

We didn't eat lunch.

Oh, well, a person has to eat.

Yeah, of course.

What the hell is going on

around here, Barney?

Your entire constituency

is running around out there

playing Patty-Cake with the law.

That's the nature of
the beast, inspector.

The people are just tired

of getting ripped
off by hoodlums.

We do the best job we can,

but we just don't
have enough cops

to handle the job.

There are a lot
of people out there

who feel the same
way as Mr. Escobar.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

I know, Barney.

It ain't like the old days, huh?

There used to be the
good guys and the bad guys.

You didn't need a
program to tell them apart.

Yeah, and there
was... Me and Foster,

and Kleiner and Brown...

I got a lot of work
to do, inspector.

Oh, yeah. Yeah, you go ahead.

Go ahead, Barney.

Hey, but, listen,

do me one favor, will you?

Oh, yeah, I know.

We won't paint the room.

No, no, no. Paint it.

Paint the place.

Ain't no point in
living in the past.

Would you like a cup of coffee?

You got any Ovaltine, Barney?

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