Neighborhood Watch

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Neighborhood Watch
Episode # 205
Air Date October 14, 1978
Briefing Joggers and kids causing hazardous driving; the neighborhood watch is working, but keep coffee breaks to 10 minutes
Title screen

Brief Plot

A group of skateboarding kids cause driving hazards, and a drunk-driver demands Ponch and Jon's attention repeatedly.

Plot

Ponch and Jon return to their beat after attempting to purchase Dodgers tickets on their lunch break and encounter traffic being held up by joggers. Meanwhile, a kid on a skateboard holding a surfboard interrupts the flow of traffic. A yellow Ford Granada with a driver distracted by shaving and reading a map speeds past. Ponch and Jon pursue him. The driver, Jerry Billings, runs the skateboarder off of the road. Ponch lectures the skateboarder while Jon continues the pursuit. A station wagon picks up the kid and heads off and it's revealed to the viewers that the station wagon is driven by kids.

Jon stops the driver who has apparently been stopped by him previously. The driver gives Jon a hard time and denies speeding or shaving. After Jon finishes up and Ponch arrives, the station wagon that picked up the skateboarder squeals past and Ponch and Jon pursue. The car goes out of control when a skateboard becomes wedged beneath the brake pedal. Ponch tells the kid to turn the key off and the station wagon eventually comes to a stop.

While the CHP officers sign a girl's cast, the kids are released to their parents. Getraer calls his officers into a briefing and tells the officers that they need to watch the local streets and maintain high visibility.

At a restaurant, Jerry is drinking and receives a phone call that disappoints him and leaves.

A disgruntled car owner bathes his car in gasoline
The tow truck driver isn't going to get his tow

Meanwhile, Ponch and Jon respond to a call about a confrontation with a tow truck driver. The man whose car is being towed pours gasoline on his car and lights it on fire. Ponch and Jon arrive as the tow truck driver moves away from the car. Ponch extinguishes the fire and the tow truck driver calls it worthless. He offers $50 for it "for junk". This starts a bidding war and Ponch counters with $55. It goes to $60, $62, and $70...which taps out the tow truck driver. Ponch takes Jon's money and offers $83, clearly not realizing he could have had it for $71.

As Jon goes to get his book to cite the former Firebird owner, he is nearly run over by Jerry Billings. Jon stops him, asks him to step out of the car, and arrests him for drunk driving.

Back at Central, Jon overhears Billings talking to his wife and lectures him about how people like him put others in danger.

Back on patrol, Ponch and Jon spot the skateboarding kids misbehaving in the parking lot of an Alpha Beta grocery store. A girl is left riding in a cart as it heads into traffic. Ponch and Jon rescue her.

Back at Central, Getraer informs Jon that Billings has filed a Category 2 complaint against him.

While watching traffic, Ponch and Jon are menaced by a remote-controlled airplane piloted by the skateboarder from earlier. The plane is dragging a banner which says "Speed Trap".

Back at Central for a briefing, Getraer updates everyone on the neighborhood watch. After some of the other officers give them a hard time for their encounter with the toy plane, Getraer tells Jon that his "deuce" arrest is going to be reduced to a "reckless."

While skateboarding, one of the kids knocks over buckets of flowers and the florist is irate. Ponch has had it with the kids and whispers a plan to Jon. Cahill arrives and the kids are put in the back of her cruiser. She takes them to meet with an off-duty Ponch and Jon at a skate park.

Later, Billings is drinking vodka while driving erratically and he hits a jogger. When his car won't start, he takes off on foot. Ponch and Jon respond to the call and tend to the injured pedestrian. Jon examines the car and identifies the car as Billings' yellow Ford Granada. Meanwhile, Billings is on the run and trying to get home so he can report his car stolen, giving himself an alibi. He catches a taxi while Jon races to his house to cut him off. When he sees Jon, Billings makes a run for it and Jon catches him. Billings threatens to take his own life and then gives up.

At Central, Getraer reports that the jogger hit-and-run victim will be okay. Grossie tells Ponch that there's a kid on the phone that wants to know if he can "tail tap the high ramp." After Ponch explains what that means, he goes back to the skate park with Jon and the kids.

Great Quote

"I'm not going to tell anyone that we are being pin... pinned down by a toy airplane."
- Jon Baker
"Hey fellas, next time you're pinned down by enemy aircraft call us."
-Grossie
"Lan' sakes! Are you all right, child?"
-Elderly Woman

Guest Stars

Special Guest Star

Also Starring

Co-Starring

Featuring

Crew

Fun Facts

  • This is the first of many appearances for Ponch's Firebird.
  • Ponch purchases his Firebird for $83.
  • The kids were skateboarding at the Alpha Beta market at 12431 Burbank Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA. The location is currently occupied by Cambridge Farms and no longer resembles its appearance in this episode. The girl in the shopping cart rolls out onto Rhodes Ave., which also looks quite different now than it does in this episode.
  • The flower shop was located at the intersection of Alma Real Dr. and La Cruz Dr. The building seen in the show was replaced sometime between 2003 and 2005.
  • Gas is 64 cents a gallon.
  • Watching Billings run down the alley at the end of the episode after Jon spots him is pretty hilarious.
  • Lauri Hendler is most famous for her role as Julie Kanisky on the 80s sitcom, Gimme a Break.

Mistakes

  • Perhaps this particular model station wagon is different, but most cars won't let you turn the ignition key off while the car is in drive.
  • When the kids are skateboarding after the second briefing, they pass by the same "Opening Soon" sign, brush, and fence twice.
  • The florist is really mad considering there wasn't actually much damage done. Most of the flowers could likely be picked up and be in fine condition, but he sweeps them up as if glass had shattered.
  • When Ponch is skateboarding, his helmet strap is hanging when he starts, fastened when they go to the close-up shot, and open again as he is finishing up.

Buy this episode


Preceded by:
"Disaster Squad"
Neighborhood Watch
205
Followed by:
"Trick or Trick"