Saturday, January 06, 2007

"It's Officer ESTRADA! Not ESTEVEZ, you #$%*!!"

This is what happens when Hollywood invades real-life America with reality TV cameras: Former celebrity and TV cop Erik Estrada, now a real-life Muncie, Indiana police reserve officer for the new CBS show Armed & Famous, cursing out a bespectacled, middle-aged stabbing victim because they guy referred to him as "Emilio Estevez."

Yes, the CBS quasi-celebrities-as-cops show keeps looking better every day. First there was the story that they're paying money to criminals and other arrestees to get permission to use their images. Then there's the teaser clip (above) showing Erik Estrada and other morons getting themselves tasered (keep a close eye on his crotch as he's zapped) for television. And now, Wednesday night's incident in which Officer Estrada got into an "expletive-laced shouting match" with a man on a stretcher.

Estrada was being filmed, about to remove handcuffs from a local activist named Randall R. Sims, who'd been stabbed in the leg during an domestic dispute. Simms, whose local claim to fame is having gotten a street named after nonviolence advocate Dr. Martin Luther King, first addressed the 57-year-old former TV ChiP as "Estevez," then said he didn't want to appear on the show.

Everything exploded and the swearing started after Sims accused Estevez--er, Estrada--of having been in Muncie only two days--and knowing nothing about Dr. King (odd, since the real Estevez has recently emerged from obscurity directing the film, Bobby, which is about events surrounding Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, and concludes with Kennedy's speech after King's killing).

In true mature, detached cop fashion, Estrada told Sims he'd been in town for six weeks, not two days-- and said he grew up in Spanish Harlem -- a tough nabe mentioned in King's landmark 1967 speech calling for an end to the Vietnam War. Then the swearing started.

The incident's on film. The producer says there's a "slight chance" they'd show the incident with the man's face blurred. But we're sure the checkbook is being waved under Mr. Sims' nose as we write. The show's other "celeb" cops are La Toya Jackson, Jack Osbourne, "Wee Man" Acuña and Trish Stratus. The premiere's set for Wednesday. And despite earlier denials, they will carry guns. Hey, this series might turn out to be as funny as the COPS episode of My Name Is Earl!

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