First encounter with Needles
In 1979, Douglas J. Needles tried to egg Emmett Brown's laboratory, as he considered Doc a "weirdo mad scientist". However, the impact of the egg set off Doc's intruder alarms, which immediately alerted the police. Officer Foley was the first to arrive, stopping Needles from escaping. This would be the first of Needles' many run-ins with the police.
Needles and the car chase
On March 4, 1986, Officers Foley and Reese found Needles sitting in his Ford F-150, covered in eggs from the delivery truck that he had crashed into when Jennifer Parker ran him off the road in the unmodified DeLorean DMC-12 that she and Marty McFly discovered in Doc's secret lab.
At the police department, Needles is informed that his story doesn't add up, as no DeLorean was found anywhere at the scene, and both Marty McFly and Jennifer Parker are at home. The delivery driver mentioned "some 1920s car with a parachute", however, since the police found a flask in the delivery van, his testimony is not admissible in court.
The police let Needles know that they couldn't contact his mother since she was out of town, and said that no-one knows where his father is. Needles says that he is entitled to a phone call, and the police hope that there is someone out there who cares about him.
Break-in at Doc's lab
On April 13, Officer Foley was called to Doc's secret lab after an unknown trespasser tripped the alarms. Marty and Jennifer arrive shortly afterwards, having heard the alarm coming from their friend's laboratory. Foley recognized them from the incident with Needles in March. He was aware that Marty knew Doc, and asked if Marty could do anything about the alarm.
Marty disabled the alarm with the keypad and the four of them entered the lab. When the other officer asked if he should turn off the Temporal field generator Mk II since it was making a funny noise, both Marty and Jennifer yelled "no", knowing that Marty and Doc would never be able to escape from 2035 if the machine were ever turned off.
Apparently the officers left, since no further action was taken. They were unaware that Marty had discovered a note intended for Doc, which read "It's time we had a talk", and was signed "a friend in time".
The return of Joey Baines
When Marty McFly was investigating the circumstances of Joey Baines' imprisonment in 1972, he asked Foley and Reese at Hill Valley Police Station if they had any information. Reese did not know anything, as he had only been 14 years old in 1972. Foley remembered Joey from school, and had heard about the arrest but knew nothing else.
Behind the scenes
- It is likely that Officer Foley is the parent of Foley, a police officer in 2015.
- Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis generally used the names Reese and Foley in scripts to describe any pair of police officers. In the first draft of Back to the Future, Foley and Reese were two men, officials from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, who came to arrest "Professor Brown". Other characters named "Foley" were a "theater cop" in I Wanna Hold Your Hand; a Private Foley in 1941 (played by John Candy, with Mickey Rourke as Private Reese); and a character in Used Cars.