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|CSI: Crime Scene Investigation episode|
|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Richard J. Lewis|
|Written by||Dustin Lee Abraham|
|Original air date||October 12, 2006|
A Hispanic man gets off work from his job at a casino hotel. After calling his wife, he is ambushed in the parking garage and beaten to death. Gil Grissom and Catherine Willows are called to the scene and identify the dead man as Vasco Ruiz. Grissom finds pictures of the victim's two children.
A young woman walks the streets, clutching a tall souvenir daiquiri glass and clearly inebriated. She, too, is ambushed and beaten, but she survives the attack. The second crime scene is discovered and Warrick and Nick take the case. Warrick discovers that Grissom's scene is five blocks from his and Nick's, and begins to think that the two are related.
In the autopsy for Ruiz, the cause of death is determined to be multiple blunt force trauma. Catherine finds a toenail in Ruiz' mouth. Sara takes pictures of the female victim—Jessica Hershbaum—and shows her characteristic sympathy towards the young woman. Sara finds a bruise on Jessica that appears to be a backwards "F", and Jessica says that the thugs who beat her up said that she was "number two for the night". A flashback is shown of the gang attacking the victim and the leader wearing a pig mask.
While Catherine has found shoe treads on Ruiz' shirt, Greg walks in wearing a suit and announces that he just came from court, in his first beginning-to-end investigation (crime scene to court room). He helps Catherine by isolating footprints on Ruiz' pants, while saying that he had a date with the prosecuting attorney. They find five different shoe treads. Greg speculates that the two attacks could be hate crimes since Ruiz is Hispanic and Jessica is Jewish.
A third crime scene is investigated by Greg and Sofia Curtis, this time a robbery at a liquor store, and it seems that the suspects from the previous two beatings are involved. The shop owner managed to grab a sweatshirt from one of the thugs and said that the face of one of the suspects was deformed.
Grissom walks in on Sara testing shoe tread consistency. She states that two common treads on both victims were found and then, through "SOLEMATE", the treads have been identified as a pair of Doc Martens and a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. She also finds a print from a stiletto heel which hints at a female suspect.
Brass interviews Ruiz' wife, who says that he had no enemies to speak of and was a good man. Afterwards, Brass passes by a television display in a store window and spots a report of Jessica's attack, which includes footage of the actual beating. He asks a uniformed officer to get hold of the reporter.
On the way to continue processing the liquor store, Greg witnesses another beating. He calls for back up, but thinking it will take too long for them to arrive, he drives into the alley and turns his sirens on. Most of the gang runs away except one. The lone gang member looks up and glares at Greg with bright, unearthly-looking, bluish-white eyes. Greg stops the SUV and the young man picks up a rock and looks ready to brain the victim with it. Instead, he turns to throw it at Greg. Greg has no choice but to defend himself and propels the SUV into the young man.
After a couple of seconds, the gang return and yank Greg from the SUV. Too dazed to react, Greg can only fight to stay conscious as the gang members savagely beat him. One of them spits on him, laughing. As the gang walks away, Greg reaches out and scratches the gang member who spit on him. The gang deliberately hits Greg's SUV as they drive away in their own vehicle.
When the police are on the scene, a woman attempts to get around Sofia to the scene, screaming "Demetrius". Sara arrives and Sofia tells her that Greg has been stabilized. Sara rushes up to him. Greg whispers "Sara", telling her that he knows her scent. He then tells her about all the DNA and paint transfer evidence that can be taken from him and his vehicle, but she says, "I came here for you, Greg."
The man who Greg rescued, a tourist from Union City, Tennessee named Stanley Tanner, is interviewed by Brass. He had been just walking down the alley, looking for a taxi, he says. "The next thing I knew, I was on the ground being beaten all to Hell. I thought I was gonna die. Then I heard the horn and the siren." Tanner then asks Brass if he can thank his rescuer personally.
Nick and Warrick go to the scene where Greg was beaten. Warrick finds a strand of Greg's hair, which causes an already angry Nick to become even angrier. A punk by the name of Cole Tritt (Kevin Federline) stands at the edge of the crime scene tape taunting the CSIs. Nick loses control and punches Cole. Warrick calms Nick down while Cole talks about taking a picture of police brutality, using his camera phone. Warrick grabs Cole's phone out of his hand and starts looking through the phone list, asking how many drug dealers he will find.
While Grissom is visiting Greg in the hospital, Greg reveals that his mother still thinks he is a lab technician and would be upset if she knew what had happened to him, because she is overprotective of her only son. Grissom tells Greg that his mother would be proud of him because he had saved a man's life. Stanley Tanner will be fine, but Demetrius James, the young man who Greg ran over with the SUV to rescue Tanner, is going into surgery and it is unknown if he will be all right.
Catherine, meanwhile, is interviewing Cha Cha, a girl accused of being a member of the gang. She uncovers her purse, revealing an F-shaped decoration which looks like it could have left the mark on Jessica. This, mixed with overwhelming evidence, makes Cha Cha confess and tell Catherine that a girl named Tara had called her on Ruiz' cell phone inviting her to a party. The party, it turns out, was a "fannysmackin'" session, in which tourists are beaten up. The name "fannysmackin'" was derived from the fact that many tourists in Las Vegas wear fanny packs. When Catherine asks why Vasco Ruiz was beaten, since he was a local, Cha Cha answers that Ruiz might have been just practice.
In the front lobby of the station, two young men claim to Sofia and Brass that they were the latest fannysmacking victims and had been robbed of $10,000. Grissom checks a map with locations of the first three attacks to compare with the new report. David Hodges enters, telling Grissom that the saliva from Greg's jacket and the epithelials from under Greg's fingernails both match one unknown male. Grissom tells Hodges that he believes that the newest fannysmacking claim is bogus, because the attack allegedly occurred about 20 blocks away from the others and that the only shoeprints on the alleged victim's shirt were his own. When Sofia confronts the young men with the evidence, they break down and admit that they owed money to a sportsbook and had decided to file a false police report to make it look like they had the money but had been robbed.
Meanwhile, Nick goes with a squad to Tara's house and arrests her. In her car, which bore paint transfer similar to that of Greg's SUV, he finds Vasco Ruiz' wallet and cell phone. Back at the lab, Nick checks Tara's cell phone records and finds text messages from someone calling himself "Pig", telling her where to meet up. Nick and Catherine believe that Pig, who they have pegged as the ringleader, sent the message to several people at once. They have a reluctant Tara create a text message that would be characteristic of Pig's style, telling the gang of another meeting place, and another to be sent to Pig himself with the same information.
In an abandoned warehouse, the entire gang shows up. As everyone tries to sort out who had sent the text message, LVPD enter and surround all those gathered. Pig, who is actually wearing a pig snout mask, is revealed to be Cole Tritt, the very same heckler who had enraged Nick at the earlier crime scene. As he is being led away in handcuffs, Cole is unrepentant. As Nick glares at him, Cole makes pig sounds at Nick and revels in getting free room and board in jail.
Greg is sitting in his hospital bed eating, when he has a visitor. It is a grateful Stanley Tanner, who shakes Greg's hand and thanks him for saving his life. After Tanner is wheeled out, a mournful wail comes from the room next door. Greg watches as Demetrius James' mother sobs over Demetrius' lifeless body. Demetrius' brother, Aaron, glares helplessly at Greg.
In the locker room, Sara invites Nick and Warrick to go with her to the hospital to visit Greg. Catherine walks in and announces that Cole and his gang have all been booked. Catherine is troubled, both by the fact that Cole was the only adult among the gang, whose members are mostly teenagers-some as young as 14—and that even otherwise good kids like Demetrius James, who had been a good student in college, commit assault and murder because they are bored and seemingly have no conscience.
The team members debate what might have caused the teens to go wrong; Warrick says that it is the lack of parental guidance, Nick says that the Las Vegas lifestyle is to blame, while Sara asserts that the kids themselves are at fault. Grissom, however, states that "Our moral compass can only point us in the right direction, it can't make us go there. We live in a society that preaches 'Do whatever you want, we won't tell' and that includes killing someone. This city is built on the foundation that you can do whatever you want. You can even kill somebody, and apparently you don't even have to feel bad about it."
The vehicle of Vasco Ruiz is noted visually as being a second-generation (1982–85) Honda Accord yet the key that Grissom finds and identifies as Ruiz' is actually from a sixth-generation Accord.