Frank Tenpenny

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Character
Frank Tenpenny
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[[Image::File:FrankTenpenny-GTASA.jpg| ]]
Appearances [[Appearance::Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]
Full Name Frank Tenpenny
Aliases Officer Tenpenny
Gender Gender::Male
Place of Birth Los Santos, San Andreas
Date of Death [[Error: Invalid time.|1992]][[DOD::1992| ]]
Nationality American
Home Los Santos, San Andreas
Family Unnamed wife
Main Affiliations Los Santos Police Department
C.R.A.S.H.
Eddie Pulaski
Jimmy Hernandez
Grove Street Families
Ballas
Los Santos Vagos
Vehicles Police Car, Fire Truck
Businesses Leader of C.R.A.S.H. Community
Voiced by Samuel L. Jackson

Frank Tenpenny is a corrupt police officer of the Los Santos Police Department (LSPD) and the head of C.R.A.S.H., he serves as the main antagonist in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Tenpenny claims that his approach to the job is about "percentages" and that his philosophy calls for overlooking some crime to achieve a greater good. It appears that he believes what he says, but in reality Tenpenny and his unit are corrupt to the core and terrorize gang leaders in a fashion much like a gang themselves, except with the power of law enforcement behind them. They can kill indiscriminately and are skimming the profits from the rival gangs. Tenpenny himself is a polluting influence, convincing good cops to aid him in his pursuits.

GTA San Andreas

Tenpenny rides with Eddie Pulaski and a third C.R.A.S.H. member. Prior to the game's storyline, the third member is Ralph Pendelbury, whom Tenpenny has killed in The Introduction for cooperating with internal affairs. Just prior to Pendlebury's murder, Tenpenny and Pulaski brief their newest recruit, Jimmy Hernandez, in a scene reminiscent of the film Training Day. They both order Hernandez to pull the trigger on Pendelbury, thereby initiating Hernandez into their distorted view of things.

Relationship with CJ

Tenpenny has known protagonist Carl Johnson at least since Brian Johnson's death, and CJ recognizes Tenpenny and calls him by name from the very beginning of the game. Tenpenny likes to "step on" CJ on a regular basis to remind him who's in charge. Tenpenny is obviously seen to be a powerful influence on Los Santos' criminals, even warning CJ that "we could shit on you from such a height, you'll think God himself has crapped on you." He sees CJ as another tool in his dirty dealings. He and Pulaski extort several Grove Street Families members, including Big Smoke and Ryder, but Tenpenny appears to take pleasure in exercising control over CJ specifically. He officially threatens CJ to do his work or he'll frame him for Officer Pendlebury's murder whom Tenpenny had killed ten minutes ago.   

Gang Association

While Tenpenny claims he is pitting the gangs against each other to wipe them all out, he is actually allied with the Ballas, who (unlike the GSF) have no reservations against dealing crack cocaine. C.R.A.S.H. lets the Ballas flood the city with drugs, which turns many GSF members into addicts, effectively crushing their gang. Tenpenny also convinces Smoke to betray his gang in return for heading up the drug operation; in turn, Smoke convinces Ryder to defect also. Tenpenny and Pulaski personally oversee the Balla slaying of Carl and Sweet Johnson's mother Beverly Johnson. Tenpenny anticipates that her death will bring CJ back to Los Santos, and accosts him less than a block from his home in Ganton. The C.R.A.S.H. team plants evidence on him linking him to Pendelbury's death (allowing Tenpenny to force CJ into doing whatever he sees fit). He warns CJ not to leave town and dumps him out of the squad car in Balla territory.

Later, Tenpenny and Pulaski kidnap CJ following a large gang assault beneath the Mulholland Intersection (this ended with Sweet being shot and Carl and Sweet being arrested. Clearly, Tenpenny personally ensured that CJ would escape the law). They drive CJ miles away to Whetstone and dump him in the woods with orders to kill an FBI witness. He also tells CJ, who now knows of Big Smoke's involvement with C.R.A.S.H., not to kill Big Smoke, or the imprisoned Sweet will be put on a Balla cell block. Tenpenny and Pulaski surface every so often to lean on CJ and usually order him to plant evidence on or kill someone who threatens to expose the true nature of C.R.A.S.H.

With Big Smoke ruling Los Santos as its crack kingpin under C.R.A.S.H.'s control, Tenpenny's reach is expanding. Despite this, the FBI is becoming interested in the wave of drugs crippling the city. CJ finally outlives his usefulness to Tenpenny and Pulaski, who are becoming edgy and less tolerant of loose ends by the time CJ reaches Las Venturas. There they have him acquire an FBI dossier. After this he drives CJ out to the desert, where Tenpenny attacks Hernandez for cooperating with Internal Affairs and orders Carl to dig his own grave. He then leaves CJ and Hernandez for Pulaski to watch so he can "get drunk and get laid", so he is not present to see CJ murder Pulaski.

Upon taking back Madd Dogg's mansion, Tenpenny is eventually charged for racketeering, corruption, possession and use of narcotics and numerous sexual assaults. However, as all the prosecution's witnesses have either been killed by CJ or otherwise gone missing, Tenpenny is acquitted, which ignites a riot in Los Santos reminiscent of the 1992 Los Angeles riots

File:FrankTenpenny-Artwork.jpg
Artwork of Frank Tenpenny from GTA San Andreas. This artwork is also on the PC Version's disc cover and loadup screen.

Tenpenny seeks to escape Los Santos and the riot by plane (supposedly fleeing San Andreas) with a suitcase full of drug money. Tenpenny emerges just as CJ has killed Big Smoke and tells him he has new recruits in the force who are ready for him to "open their eyes" to his way of thinking. Tenpenny starts a fire in Big Smoke's Crack Palace downstairs, hoping to kill CJ in the blast, then flees in a fire truck. Carl's brother, Sweet, however, hangs on to the firetruck's ladder; CJ catches him in his car and continues the chase.

At the last cut scene of the "End of the Line" mission, Tenpenny's fire engine runs off an overpass, where it lands in a wreck right in the heart of Grove Street. A bloodied and broken Tenpenny crawls out calling for backup. Realizing no one is coming, he curses the police force, claiming that with "fifty of me", Los Santos would be saved, before dying from his injuries. CJ and the rest of his crew examine the body to make sure he's finished, but Sweet makes sure no one touches him so officials will blame a traffic accident for his death. Before they walk away from the body, The Truth tells CJ that he "beat the system" after Truth had been trying for 30 years. CJ then leans over, points his fingers at Tenpenny's body and smugly says, "See you around, officer." Tenpenny's corpse is reported on the radio to have been mutilated and stripped by the homeless, before officials found it once the riots had ended.

Mission appearances

GTA San Andreas

Trivia

  • In an article on PC World, Tenpenny was voted as #35 of the top 47 "most diabolical videogame villains of all time." In Game Informer, Tenpenny was voted #2 Best Villain.
  • Frank Tenpenny was voiced by mega-actor Samuel L. Jackson.
  • Tenpenny was the only main antagonist not to be killed by the protagonist.
  • His surname has a play on the name "ten penny" meaning ten cents.
  • According to the mission 'Catalyst', Tenpenny has a wife who is a drug addict.