Code 3, Case 2206

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Beat the Clock

Season 1, Episode 20 of 39

Directed by George Waggner

Broadcast on August 13, 1954.

The known actors: Richard Travis (Assistant Sheriff Roger Barrett), Robert Armstrong (Captain Morse), Richard Shannon (Deputy Randolph), Herb Vigran (Mr. Carl), Dian Fauntelle (Jean Sweeney), Julie Gibson (Mrs. Pratt), Howard Price (Sergeant Walker), John Zaromba (Lieutenant Keel), Jack Haddock (Deputy Wilson), Ted Stanhope (Herbert Brecker), John Holland (Mr. Pratt), Walter Conrad (Deputy Moore), Donald Kerr (man in audience).


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Julie Gibson, Richard Shannon and Jack HaddockThe only 'brush with the law' that I can remember from my youth was silly and innocent, but before it was over I was shaking with excitement and horror at the same time. This was when police cars had one huge bulbous red light in the center of the roof, and we called them 'bubble gum machines.' One night in 1969 Bill Saxman and I had our run in with a bubble gum machine. Because of my upbringing that told me that I could never get away with anything . . . mom always would find out . . . I transferred that thought to the rest of my life also, and became convinced that I should never enter a life of crime, because I would always get caught. This was the only time that I didn't get caught. Billy Saxman and I got away with it, and to the best of my knowledge, this is the first telling by either of us about that night in 1969. We were seniors in high school at the Shanksville-Stoneycreek school, and we were doing some kind of report that required us to interview a State Trooper . . . I don't remember what it was about . . . maybe something about safe teen driving or something. Anyway, there was a small State Police barracks just outside of Somerset, Pennsylvania, about ten miles from Shanksville, and we headed out there one evening after calling first and arranging to talk to Officer Binini. I was driving my big green monster Plymouth Pioneer, and it was just past sunset, but still pretty light out. In front of the police barracks there was a semi-circle driveway that we turned into with the intention of parking in front of the main doors and going inside. Now you need to understand that 17 year old boys have a different view of the police than wiser older people, and we had a large dose of respect, fear and wonderment at these men with nearly unlimited power. As I was pulling into the drive, Bill noticed that it was getting dark, and I had not turned on my headlights yet. This was perceived by us to be an offense that might land us in jail, and we both had a sudden fear run through us. In a split second we decided to keep on going, right around that semi-circle and back to the highway, and took off like a bolt of lightning up the road. Looking back, we discovered that a Trooper had been watching us and when we took off he ran to his police car and gave chase, probably wondering why we entered and then raced away from the station. Talk about fear! It rose up in us like a flood, our hearts beating almost out of our chests. We missed the turn-off to Shanksville and headed down the road towards Berlin, Pennsylvania, as fast as we could. Rounding a bend we spotted a dirt road leading back through the trees to somewhere, and we quickly decided to turn back this road and stop in the safety of the woods out of sight of the main road. We parked there and waited for what seemed like an eternity, and the Trooper never came back that road looking for us. We cautiously made our way back to Shanksville, and never mentioned it again, and never got our interview for our report.

My adventure was not very exciting by today's standards, but I always enjoyed, and still enjoy a good tale about the police and their amazing and dangerous adventures, and this one is a great example of big city police work from 1957 that I think you will enjoy. It is about something almost unheard of in 1957 - a dirty cop!