Actor Erik Estrada came to the General Assembly on his own dime last week to support legislation he says will help law enforcement fight child pornography.
As Frank “Ponch” Poncherello on the late-'70s television show “CHiPs,” Estrada played a likeable, sexy Latino motorcycle cop with the California Highway Patrol. He could at times be hotheaded, but he always had his way with the ladies (cue freeze frame).
Estrada still has his trademark mop of hair and kilowatt smile. But he's traded in his skin-tight police uniform for a suit and an American flag tie. He's a sworn deputy with the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and volunteers for it 96 hours a year.
At the General Assembly, Estrada posed for photos and gave an awkward hug to the former gubernatorial candidate, state Sen.
R. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath County, who sponsored one of the bills Estrada was there to support. Deeds' bill would add a $10 fee to any felony or misdemeanor charge, which would go into a fund for the task force.
“It is real, what is out there and … it's just a click away,” Estrada says of child pornography. “It's a lot nastier and a lot more dangerous than what you might believe.”