Cafe owner Bernie Sills hates motorcyclists because of injuries to his wife and damages to his property during a renegade biker attack months earlier. When he threatens non-violent cyclists Joe Keeley and Nick West with a shotgun, a minor altercation ensues after Mrs. Sills calls the Highway Patrol. Responding Officer Jack Anders is killed in an accident involving a truck driver's negligence while pursuing Keeley and West. When Dan Mathews and Officer Dorsey investigate, Sills tries to blame the cyclists for Officer Anders' death. He exaggerates their behavior in his statements, but he is careful not to mention that he had provoked the altercation by brandishing the shotgun. Dan advises Sills that Keeley and West are being sought primarily as witnesses to the accident and notes that Mrs. Sills seems to be seeking to distance herself somewhat from her husband's statements. When Keeley and West are located, Dan and Officer Dorsey hear a very different story concerning the incident and ... Written by
This is the town of Sunland Park. To someone just passing through, it's barely a wide spot in the road, a pleasant little place with a park and a playground for children. Nothing of any significance could have happened there. But the residents of this town, especially Mrs. Bernie Sills, knew this to be untrue. The Highway Patrol knew it, too. For recent events in Sunland Park had been far too significant in terms of violence and tragedy.
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This is an especially good episode. As another reviewer noted, it's always fun to see an actor who later became a big star in one of his early roles. In this case, it's a young Clint Eastwood. But more than this, the script was so good. Months before a gang of motorcyclists went on a rampage through a small town. Among other things, they seriously hurt the wife of the café owner and because of this she will never walk completely right again. When two pleasant young motorcyclists (one of whom is Eastwood) come into the café for breakfast the wife, Birdie Sills is quite pleasant but when her husband, Bernie Sills, comes in he is quite obnoxious and orders the men out of the café. He's also toting a shotgun; wisely, the young men leave. Birdie calls the Highway Patrol and before the officer arrives, Bernie hides the shotgun and doesn't mention it to the officer. He also tells the officer that the men threatened him and he wants them arrested. The officer takes off and tragically a trucker blows through a stop sign and hits and kills the officer. Bernie wants all the blame put on the motorcyclists and Mathews tracks them down and hears their side of the story. All along Birdie tries to get her husband to be reasonable but to no avail. Bitterness over his wife's injury and anger toward those who did it - motorcyclists - have consumed him to the point that all motorcyclists are bad and no amount of reasoning will get him to change his mind. A very sad business indeed.
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