"You haven't said a word since briefing!" called Ponch to Jon over the roar of their motors as they cruised down Ventura Freeway.
"You know that feeling you get, that something hinky's gonna happen?" asked Jon.
"Know it well, partner." Ponch looked at Jon. "Don't tell me you've got 'the feeling'."
Jon sidled a glance at Ponch.
Ponch laughed and shook his head. "Well look who finally became a believer. And when I think of all those times you laughed at me; said I'd just eaten a bad Ding Dong..."
"Okay, okay," laughed Jon. "I've been converted, alright?"
Ponch smiled smugly at his partner. He was about to rib Jon some more when Jon pointed to their left; a red van was swerving dangerously in and out of traffic on the opposite side of the freeway.
"Isn't it way too early for happy hour?" remarked Ponch as they put their lights on and crossed over onto the eastbound lanes.
"LA 15; 7 Mary 3 and 4 in pursuit of a brown, late 70's model GMC van; possible deuce heading east on the Ventura Freeway...," Jon radioed in to the dispatcher.
Ponch and Jon weaved easily between the late morning commuters and caught up to the van as Baricza called in to say he was responding.
They chased the van for a few miles down the freeway as it continued to swerve, cutting several people off and almost causing a serious accident. Suddenly, the van veered to the right onto the shoulder, narrowly missing the concrete barrier before finally coming to a stop with its brakes squealing in protest. Ponch and Jon pulled up behind it and climbed off their motors, moving slowly towards the van.
Ponch wrinkled his nose in disgust. "I think we've got a pothead."
"Careful, Ponch; you might get a contact high," said Jon, half jokingly.
Ponch edged his way to the driver's side of the van while Jon went to the passenger side.
"May I see your driver's license and registration, please?"
"Sure, dude," said the young, blond haired man happily, completely oblivious to the mayhem he'd caused. Ponch took one look at him (and another whiff of the inside of the van) and knew the guy was higher than a kite.
Ponch looked over the man's information. "Would you mind stepping from the vehicle, sir?" he asked in a stern tone.
Again the young man complied, acting like nothing was out of the ordinary.
"Step over to the barrier, please, sir."
"Yeah, no problem," replied the man hazily.
Ponch led the man to the barrier and away from the flow of traffic, then proceeded to pat him down while Jon searched the inside of the van.
Ponch looked up to see his partner holding up a plastic bag with a fair amount of marijuana in it. Ponch nodded and put the young man - whose mood had done an about face as he was now muttering expletives under his breath at being busted - in cuffs. As he was finishing reading the man his Miranda rights, Baricza pulled up behind the van.
"Whew..." sniffed Baricza when he reached Ponch. "I don't which is worse; the haze from the smog or from that van."
Ponch and Jon grinned.
"You know it's times like these I'm sure glad I'm not a car cop," joked Ponch.
"Yeah, you uh... might want to roll down all your cruiser windows there Bear," added Jon.
"I'll do that," said Barizca sarcastically, escorting the man to the patrol car.
Jon and Ponch exchanged glances and laughed as Ponch radioed in for a tow truck.