Rustling

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Rustling
Episode # 114
Air Date January 12, 1978
Briefing Cattle rustlers
Title screen

Brief Plot

Ride 'em, cowboys! The buddy cops confront dirt-bike riding cattle rustlers. Also: happy birthday to Jon!

Plot

The episode begins with Ponch and Jon chasing a car through a parking garage. They get to the top and the car turns around and heads back down. On the way down, it crashes into a parked car. They arrest the driver. Jon has the feeling the guy will want to get even.

Back at Central, Ponch heads to the front desk and invites Mamie to a surprise party for Jon. In the report room, Jon sits Ponch down to write the reports for once.

That night, some thieves are using motorbikes to round up cattle into a truck.

The next day, Ponch tries to get Jon to make plans on Friday night when they get a report of livestock on the Golden State Freeway at Calgrove. Arriving on the scene, they use their motors to get the cattle off the road while Baricza, another officer, and the cattle rancher assist. When the cattle are back in the fence, they notice the motorbike tracks. Ponch invites Baricza to the party.

Later, Ponch and Jon pull over a Mercedes that went through a red light on Orange Drive. When they start performing tricks, they realize that they've pulled over a magician, The Great Marvello, and his assistant.

Back at Central, Ponch invites Getraer to the party. Getraer offers to bring vegetables from his garden. As Jon walks in, Getraer gets a call from the County Attorney's office. The guy they pulled over yesterday, Mr. Ambrose, is demanding an immediate trial, so they head over to the County of Los Angeles Municipal Traffic Court.

We join the trial as Poncherello testifies in front of Judge Linda Lindheim. Mr. Ambrose testifies that he thought Poncherello was going to assault him, so that's why he resisted arrest. As for the reckless driving charge, he testifies that his car was stuck in cruise control. Upon cross examination, Mr. Ambrose says that the arresting officers inspected his tail lights, stop lights, and horn. Poncherello is recalled to the stand. He testifies that the cruise control would have disengaged if the brakes were pressed and that the braking system was in perfect order. As a result, Mr. Ambrose changes his plea to guilty. He is sentenced to $250 and damages with five days in county jail.

Back on the highway, Ponch and Jon witness a Mustang roll over after being hit by a reckless driver. Jon assists a girl trapped in the Mustang while Ponch chases the hit and run driver. Just after Jon gets the woman to safety, the Mustang explodes. Down the road, the hit and run driver eventually pulls over for Ponch. Ponch pulls him from the car and the man is clearly intoxicated. Back at the accident, a fire truck arrives and extinguishes the car fire. The paramedics arrive and take the girl from the Mustang to the hospital. She doesn't want Jon to leave, but Jon promises to visit.

During the briefing at Central, Getraer tells the officers to be on the lookout for the cattle rustlers and check paperwork for trucks which may be transporting stolen cattle. Jon leaves the briefing early to call a friend at the hospital and check on Susie, the accident victim.

Back out on the highway, Baricza stops a cattle truck southbound on the San Diego Freeway at Mulholland and Ponch and Jon respond from Sunset. The driver is the same rancher who had cattle stolen earlier. He doesn't have paperwork and Baricza notices the cattle have a different brand. As Baricza's about to check the paperwork, the passenger opens his door and knocks down Baricza. The rancher and his passenger take off on motorbikes as Ponch and Jon arrive. Baricza's fine and tells them to "Go get those guys!"

Ponch and Jon chase the motorbikes into a dump. Ponch gets around them and sends them in Jon's direction where he's waiting with a fire hose. The water knocks them off their bikes and the arrests are made.

Friday night, Ponch and Jon arrive at Jon's apartment. Ponch turns on the lights and everyone surprises Jon...but he tells them it's not his birthday. It turns out Ponch was looking at his employee number, not his birthday. Getraer figures it's somebody's birthday and offers Jon some zucchini from his garden. Marvello The Great performs some card tricks as Jon gets a phone call telling him that Susie will be fine. For his final trick, Marvello pours milk into newspaper, flings open the newspaper, and sprays the whole room.

Great Quote

"Listen, how would you like to go to a swinging party?"
"Yeah, I would!"
-Ponch and Baricza

Also starring

Guest Stars

Featuring

Crew

Fun Facts

  • This is the first of many episodes for the executive producer, Cy Chermak.
  • From the director, Phil Bondelli:
    • "I do remember filming the scenes with the Mercedes. The rollover of the red coupe (in which the girl was trapped) required an explosion called a cannon roll. Due to a special effects mishap, this stunt took two and a half hours longer than scheduled. Therefore, we were forced to shoot the Mercedes under an overpass at night and light it to look like day. That's probably why the Mercedes looked different; however, only one Mercedes was used."
    • In the chase that ended in a city dump, "We started filming during daylight but finished at night, lighting the set for day. When we finished one scene which ended with one of the bikes laying on its side at the dump, the crew walked away to make another setup 50 feet away. Not realizing "CHiPs" was filming at the dump, the driver of a huge earth mover inadvertently drove over the bike and crushed it. By the time we could replace the bike, we started to lose the light. We were forced to shoot the closeups against mounds of dirt, lighting it for day. Days later, when I used the second unit to film additional chase footage, the 'landscape' of the dump had completely changed!"
  • According to Ponch's Police Tips, a horse owned by Larry Wilcox was used in the episode.
  • Actor Mills Watson also appears in the Season 2 episode Repo Man.
  • The calendar in Jon's kitchen is for January 1977, a full year before this episode aired.

Mistakes

  • During the opening chase, the fog/smog is particularly thick, however, during one close-up and at the end of the chase, it has cleared away.
  • As Mr. Bondelli points out above, it's daylight when they start shooting the scene with the Mercedes, but night when they pull it over.
  • When Ponch walks in to invite Getraer, it's just after 11:15 according to the clock. By the end of the scene, it's 11:20.
  • As Ponch chases the hit and run driver, it passes a blue Volkswagen Beetle on the right. In the next shot, it passes the same car on the left.
  • Baricza reports that he is stopping a truck southbound on the San Diego Fwy. at Mulholland, which is nearly 20 miles from where he actually pulls over the truck heading northbound on the Glendale Fwy. just south of Verdugo Blvd. View in Google Maps. This stretch of highway is used repeatedly throughout the first season for accidents and close-ups of Ponch and Jon.

Buy this episode


Preceded by:
"One Two Many"
Rustling
114
Followed by:
"Surf's Up"