Barney Miller (1975–1982): Season 3, Episode 13 - Community Relations - full transcript

Barney is charged with harassment when he arrests a blind shoplifter. An evicted tenant threatens a landlord with a musket.


Something the matter?

No, just reading this
article here about you.


It's called, uh, "The Tragedy
of the Compulsive Gambler."

I'm not compulsive.

This is just a relaxing hobby.

Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

Uh, does it mention me by name?

Good morning, Fish. Good
morning. Good morning.

Uh, Bernice wants
you to call her.

I'll consider it.

Good morning, Fish.

Good morning.


It's very lovely.

Very lovely.

But you're... You're still
gonna have to do some typing.


Oh, yeah. Ha-ha-ha.

Thank you. Heh.

What's going down?

Oh, my socks won't stay up.

I'm gonna put a
rubber band around it.

That's, uh... That's
not good for you.

That can cut off
your circulation.

I have no circulation.

Wherever my
blood is... that's it.

Wojo hasn't checked in yet, huh?

No, he's still in court, Barney.

Oh, that's right,
court. Here you go.

There's an article
here all about Nick.

Hey, Barney...

you don't think my gambling
is compulsive, do you?


I don't know that I'd say that.

But you do spend a...

An inordinate amount
of time on that stuff,

you know? I mean,

so much so that one might
think that more substantial matters

might suffer for
lack of attention.


Hey, look, man, it's all here.

I mean, it all goes back
to a negative self-image

and, uh, deep-seated
guilt feelings.

You know, I mean, you
do it to, uh, punish yourself,

and to play out your
masochistic tendencies.

I'm not the only compulsive
one around here, you know.

Oh, yeah?

I've been trying to remember

the last time I didn't
see one of those

Roman candles sticking
out of your mouth.

Oh, hey, man. I just
smoke 'cause I enjoy it.


I just happen to be
one of those people

who looks good with a cigarette.


I'll bet you a month
of night duty...

that I can quit gambling

easier than you
can quit smoking.

Oh, man, you gotta
be kidding. Heh.

Japanese got a lot of willpower.

We eat raw fish.

You like it.

No, we don't.

Hey, look, man. I mean,

personal discipline
is my middle name.

All right. As of
now I quit gambling.

You're on.

As of this moment...

I quit smoking.

As of this moment,
uh... Hello, Bernice.


Bernice, what do you want?

Yes, I think it's
important to talk.

I was listening. I...

just assumed you'd be finished

by the time I closed the door.

Hey, Woj.

Hi, Woj. Howdy.

You know, um...

How was court?


Why, what happened?

I don't know. I...


The minute I hit
the stand, I... I got...


Yeah. What, uh...?

I knew everything in my head
that I wanted to say, but I ju...

I couldn't seem to... You...

Express yourself.


What happened to the case?

Oh. Um...

What happened to the case?

The judge called a recess...

so I could have time
to get my facts straight.

Okay. Just relax. Take it easy.

Everything is gonna go okay.

I doubt it.

I just can't talk
in front of people.

Here you go, Woj.

Thanks, Harris.

Even when I was in high school,

if I had to give a report, heh,

I'd get so nervous, I'd upchuck.

That won't impress a jury.

It won't.

Hey, Woj. WOJO: Yeah.

Man, you know what
would really help you a lot?


A vest.

Really, man. I mean,
people believe a vest.


there is nothing wrong
with what I'm wearing.

You know, I mean,

now is not the time
to go into that. Hm.

Battista still out?

Oh, yeah. Out, Barn.

Twelth Precinct, Harris.

Uh, Barn? Here, hold this.



Wilson. In or out?

Out. Out.

Yeah. Okay. Got it.

Hey, Barn? Mm?

Uh, Siegel's. They got
a, uh, shoplifting suspect

that, uh, got away from 'em,

and they're chasing
him around the store.

Okay, uh... Take, um...

I'll go with him.

You're volunteering?


It's nice to see you,
uh, express an interest.

Uh, Dietrich...?

Out. Out.

Yeah. Okay. Let's go.

One second, man.


Uh, Vice. Vice. Yeah.

You don't mind if
I smoke, do you?

Nasty. Just plain nasty.

Don't slam the door!

No, Bernice. I don't mind
you calling me at work.

I enjoy our talks.

Yes, Bernice, you
need me and I need you.

Bernice, I gotta hang
up. My sock just fell down.

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Hey, old guy. Where
can I find a cop?

Over there.

Thanks, pops.

Are you somebody?

I'm Captain Miller.

Wonderful. I'm
Leonard K. Hauser.

I own those apartment
buildings over on 28th Street,

and I'm tearing one down.

Good for you.

What was that?
Social commentary?

A little zinger? A little shot?

No, I happen to
know those buildings.

Should have been torn
down a long time ago. Oh.

I've been called dirty names
by the best of 'em, Muller.


I got a tenant, won't vacate.

I want him out of there,
and I don't care how you do it.

Has he been served with
a formal notice of eviction?

Over two months ago.

All right, fill out a
formal complaint,

we'll see what we can do.

Hey, snap it up, will you?

I got a demolition crew there
I'm paying 400 bucks an hour to,

and they're just sitting
around on their lunch boxes.

Sergeant Fish, would
you uh, help Mr. Hauser?

This way. Yeah.

Hey. Can you speed it up a bit?

Every minute's
costing me a fortune.


Hauser, Leonard K.

Can't you type any
faster than that?

Sorry, but I'm old.

What did you think
you were doing?

Oh, uh, hi.

Why did you leave the
courthouse like that?

I wanted to see you.

Well, I was through.

I waved at you.

I waved back.

So, what were you supposed
to be doing up on that stand?

Uh, excuse me. I don't believe
we've had the, uh, pleasure.

I'm Captain Miller.

Frank Pissano,
district attorney's office.

Assistant prosecutor.

I take it you're on Detective
Wojciehowicz's case.

Yeah, I'm like lucky one
that got Daniel Webster here

as his star witness. Hey.

Oh, we can do without the
sarcasm, Mr. Pissano. Uh...

Detective Wojciehowicz
probably just got a little tongue-tied,

that's all.


The man was speaking gibberish.

You weren't there.

Half the time you couldn't
even hear what he was saying.

My mouth was dry.

There was a pitcher of water
a couple inches away from you.

Well, that was
the judge's water.

Well, then you say,

"Your Honor, may I
have some water?"

I did. He didn't hear me.

Mr. Pissano, if you'll
excuse the expression,

you're making a
federal case out of this.


I don't... We...

The district attorney's
office doesn't want

some mush-mouthed cop
lousing up what could be a very big,

very important
conviction to me. To us.

To the district
attorney's office and me.

Am I clear?

Yes, you could say
that. Perfectly clear.

Barney? Hm?

That guy in the
building is an old man.

Old men can be dangerous.

Thank you very much.

Probably scared and
has no place else to go.

I'd like to talk to him.

It's a waste of time.

I've threatened him
till I'm blue in the f

Wojo has to go to court.

Take some uniforms
with you. Right.

Hey. Why don't you lob
one of those tear gas shells

in through the window?

I don't mind damage.

Tear gas is no good, Mr. Hauser.

Why not?

It aggravates my sinuses.

Look, captain, is
there someplace

Wojciehowicz and
I can have privacy?

I want to go over his
testimony with him again.

I know my testimony.

Look, I... We... The
district attorney's office

would appreciate
your cooperation.

Certainly. You
can use my office.

I know my testimony.

Would you mind?

It ain't gonna help.

"Isn't." "Isn't."

"Isn't" gonna help.

Barney, this shoplifting
suspect you ain't gonna believe.

Okay, Mr. Roth. We're
going through the door.

It better be open.

This is a shoplifter?


Now, who's, uh...?
Who's speaking, please?

I'm Captain Miller.

Oh. Leon Roth. How
do you do, captain?

He tried to get out of the store

with that stuff
stuffed in his coat.

He just doesn't realize how
lucky he is we caught him.

Uh, if you don't mind
my asking, uh, Mr. Roth,

considering your handicap, uh,

what made you think
you could get away with it?

No one expects a
blind man to steal.

I was counting on the
element of surprise.

I was surprised.

I thought it was safe.

I didn't smell anybody around.

Uh, Siegel's is
gonna press charges?

Yeah, Barn. They said it's part
of their new get-tough policy.

Oh. Wonderful way to begin.


I'm sorry, Mr. Roth. We're
gonna have to book you.

Look, everybody's
been taking from me...

so, now why
can't I take a little.

You've been robbed, Mr. Roth?

Every day, and twice on Sundays.

When you're blind, you rob easy.

On the street, on the subway.

Now they're even
coming up to my room.

Who...? Who's they?

Kids, hoods, repairmen,
religious fanatics.

"Hello, Mr. Roth. How
are you, Mr. Roth?

"I'm taking your radio
and your shoes, Mr. Roth.

Goodbye, Mr. Roth."


I'm sorry to hear
that, Mr. Roth.

Now, Detective Harris is
gonna take some information.

Okay, Mr. Roth. Take
a seat over here, huh?

Can I take your coat, Mr. Roth?

"I'm taking your
coat now, Mr. Roth."

"Thank you, Mr. Roth." Get out.

Evidence is not only a
group of related facts.

It is the manner in which
these facts are presented.

Do you understand that? Sure.

You could cost me this case

if you abrogate your
credibility with the jury.

You must speak with
confidence and certainty.

I gotta go to the can.


I believe you.

Here you go.

But be careful.
It's, uh, kinda hot.


Are you sure this...?

Trust me.

I guess it's true what
they say, you know.

That if one loses
one of the senses,

that the remaining ones are
sharper and more perceptive.

Uh... Sure does.

Like, I can tell from the
sound of your voice...

you're over 6 feet tall
and you're a chain smoker.

I don't smoke.

And you're a liar.

And something else.
You're very nervous.

How can you tell?

Oh, by the way he keeps
tapping his foot on the floor,

pulling at his collar,

rapping his fingers on the desk.

I'm not nervous.
I'm just rhythmic.

How do I feel?


Well... you're
cool and collected.

Got a lot of
personal discipline.

You're very, very intelligent.

Either that, or you're Japanese.

Hey, Barney. I'm gonna
check Mr. Roth for priors,

and maybe call Siegel's, or...

Okay. Do that.

What happened to the blind man?

He's a shoplifter.

You're not serious.

Yeah. It's true.

You arrested a blind shoplifter?

I didn't have much
to say about it.

Siegel's is pressing charges.

A blind shoplifter?

Do you realize the kind of
compassion and sympathy

a blind man is going
to arouse in a jury?

Some people get all the breaks.

Do you know what it's
gonna make me look like

to have to prosecute this man?

Who cares?

Hey, captain. We got him.

The old nut was running around
with a gun, threatening people,

but the old cop talked him out.

See that, Mr. Hauser?

I tell you, I'll take talking
to tear gas any day.

Listen, sergeant, believe
me. It isn't the end of your life.

Yeah. Yeah.

Retirement isn't so bad
once you get used to it.

You'll find a way to
be useful. Believe me.

I hope you're right.

Mr. Lukather, Captain Miller.

Mr. Lukather.

You're very lucky that
it was Sergeant Fish

who came to get you, and
not a special weapons team.

Why you making him
retire, when he still has a lot

of very productive years ahead?

It's mandatory at his age.

I told him that. But he couldn't
see the sense in it either.

I want this man charged
with obstruction, assault,

and anything else you got
in the books that I can use.

Shut up. Sit over there.

I'll fill out the
complaint form.

Don't talk to a
witness like that.

A good defense attorney
would have a field day

with that sort of thing.

They gotta live too.

Mr. Lukather, would you,
uh, have a seat over there?

Is that the man who barricaded
himself in the building?

That's right.

He's just an old man.

So? He had a gun.

He's probably a veteran.

Are you a veteran?

First and Second World War.

God's sakes, Miller.

Blind people?

And dispossessed veterans?

I'm sorry, we, uh...

We attract an appealing
class of criminal around here.

What are you trying to do?

Put the district attorney's
office out of business?

Look at the bright side,
Pissano. He had a weapon.

That's a felony.

Thanks a lot.

Every jury has at least
three members of the

National Rifle
Association on it.

You probably have some medals?


Purple Heart and a
couple of bronze stars.



Oh. Are you ready now?

We have to be back
in court in 30 minutes.

All right, I just want to
get my notes, uh, together.

I told you, no notes.

I just want to go over
'em one more time.

All right. All
right. Don't talk.

Save your voice.

Do you have idea how much
money you cost me already?

Twenty-five, $2600.

Heh-heh. Good.

Listen. I ought to
take you into civil court

and sue you for
everything you've got.

Help yourself. That's
everything I got.

Two changes of clothes,
my bird books and a hot pad.

If you had flushed that
nut out when I asked you to,

I wouldn't have had
to pay the demo crew

seven hours overtime.

Uh, was that middle initial "K"?

I may take the city to court.

I beg your pardon?

I said I may sue the city.


I'd love to get you
up on a stand, baby.

A slumlord.

Hey. No names.
I can sue you too.

The city ought to sue him.

Threatening people for
rents, no decent plumbing,

dangerous stairs.

Immorality, human degradation.

Good. Very good.

He doesn't know
what he's talking about.

Ask him about the rats.

The rats.


No rats in my buildings.

I've had three running
around my apartment so long,

I've even given 'em names.

I told you, no pets.

Mr. Hauser. Uh, here. Sign.

Take it easy, don't rush me.

I don't sign anything
without reading it first.

Is there, uh, something
wrong, Mr. Hauser?

No. No, there's
nothing wrong here.

I just, uh... want
to take it home

and read it over
with my attorney,

and if it's all
right, I'll sign it.

I'll mail it in.

See you in court, Mr. Hauser.

Not necessarily.

What's the matter? You chicken?


No. I just happen to be
a compassionate man.

I know how to
forgive and forget.

Right, captain?

Right, Mr. Hauser.

Learn how to be a human
being, for God's sake.

Barney? BARNEY: Huh?

What about Mr. Lukather?

Give him the receipt for
his weapon, turn him loose.

Yeah. But I-I promised him
we'd find him a place to live.


Is that the editorial "we"?

Yeah, yeah. You and me.

I told him he... He
shouldn't worry about it.

Uh, we'll do what we can. Heh.

You better talk to
Bernice about it.

I'm ready to go to court, Barn.

Good luck.

I'll be back in a couple hours.

Unless I get cited for
contempt or something. Heh.

Let's go, Wojciehowicz.


Listen, take it easy, relax.
Everything will be all right.

All right.

And, uh, fix your tie.

Right. PISSANO: Hey.

Take your gum out of your mouth

before you get on the stand.

No, I gotta have it. It
keeps my saliva going.

I'm gonna lose this case.

I know I'm gonna lose.

Okay, Mr. Roth.

Here's your, uh, desk
appearance ticket.

You're free to go now.

Who's, uh...? Who's speaking?

I've head so many
voices the past 10 minutes,

uh, I'm all confused.

I'm Sergeant Harris.

Right. The nervous one.

You can go now.

Someone's gotta get
me down to the street.

I'll be okay once
I'm on 1st Avenue.

I'll take him, Barn.

Uh, hold it.

Uh, Mr. Lukather,

I wonder if you
could do me a favor.

Would it be possible to, uh...?

To help Mr. Roth
here downstairs?


Yeah, uh, this is Mr. Lukather.

He's just lost his home.

Guy with the gun. I heard.

I wouldn't shoot nobody.

It's okay with me.

Mr. Roth lives alone.

Oh, yeah?

He's been robbed many times.

You can understand it. Sure.

Well, listen, you'll take
him downstairs then, right?

I'm usually, uh,
very independent,

but this building scares me.

Everyone needs help sometime.

Mr. Lukather, here's
a receipt for the, uh...

Your gun.

Mr. Lukather. Which, uh...?

Which way do you go?

Don't make no difference.

I got no place. Oh, yeah?

Listen, uh...

you're not one of those
people who likes to rearrange

the furniture all
the time, are you?

Who, me?

No. I've got a great
respect for tradition.

Good. That's good.

Can you cook?


You like chili?

Chili. Yes, sir.

With red beans?

I can't tell a red bean
from a white bean.

I'm blind.

Don't worry. I'll handle it.

Nice couple.

Yeah, you really
got a knack, Barney.

Oh, it was logical.

What's more, I bet they make it.

Ah, I bet they don't.

You're on.

You lose.

Hi, Barn.

How did it go?

Hi, Woj. Hi.

Uh... I don't know.

Well, what happened?

Well, I... I gave my testimony,

and then the judge called all
the lawyers into his chambers

for a big conference.


Well, they... They
came out, and, uh...

Uh, they plea-bargained
down to burglary second,

and the guy pleaded
guilty. Well, there you go.

Obviously your testimony
was very damaging.

Sure, man. I mean,

the defense attorney felt
that he'd better make a deal.

Yeah, I... I guess so.

Unless... Nick.


Uh, Barney.

Hold this... would you, please?

Thank you.