Frank Tenpenny

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Frank Tenpenny
[[Image::File:FrankTenpenny-GTASA.jpg| ]]
Appearances [[Appearance::Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]]
Full Name Frank Tenpenny
Aliases Officer Tenpenny
Status Deceased[[Status::Deceased| ]]
Gender Gender::Male
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
Eddie Pulaski
Ralph Pendelbury
Jimmy Hernandez
Los Santos Vagos
Big Smoke
Carl Johnson
The Truth
Vehicles Police Car
Voiced by Samuel L. Jackson

Frank Tenpenny is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series who appears as a main character in and the main antagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (set in 1992). He is the corrupt leader of the Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums division of the Los Santos Police Department. He is voiced by Samuel L. Jackson who has starred in such films as Pulp Fiction and Shaft.

Character history

Before GTA San Andreas

Frank Tenpenny was born in an unknown location in the United States of America and, at some point prior to 1992, he joined the Los Santos Police Department, later being promoted to head of its Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (C.R.A.S.H.) division. Tenpenny, during this time, also got married and met Carl Johnson. Tenpenny, after joining C.R.A.S.H. began to see his job more as to maintain the status quo, or as Tenpenny states 'percentages', rather than attempt to shut down the gangs, often temporarily aiding gangs in their affairs against their strong rivals. Tenpenny was joined in C.R.A.S.H. by Eddie Pulaski, a good police officer who became corrupt under Tenpenny's influence, and Ralph Pendelbury. Pendelbury, however, could not be swayed from his stance against their actions and began to give evidence to internal affairs, later leaving the division. Pendelbury was replaced by Jimmy Hernandez who was initiated into Tenpenny's ways by when, at gun point, he was forced by Tenpenny to kill Pendelbury.

Life with Carl Johnson

Frank Tenpenny, alongside Pulaski and Hernandez, are first seen arresting Carl Johnson in Ganton, returning to the city for his mothers funeral. The three then drive Johnson around the city's poorer neighborhoods and hand him the gun that Hernandez had used to kill Pendelbury ten minutes previously, thus giving them leverage over him. The three then throw him from their moving police car, leaving him in Jefferson, a part of the city held by Johnson's arch rivals the Ballas. Tenpenny continues to work with Pulaski and Hernandez, but also become aware of Big Smoke and Ryders involvement with the death of Johnson's mother, committed by the Ballas who Smoke and Ryder had allied themselves while also being high ranking members of the Grove Street Families.

Tenpenny begins to go to Big Smoke's house in Idlewood and meets Johnson briefly but meets him again at Smoke's house where Tenpenny reminds Johnson he knows 'everything' about him and that he has his eye on him. Smoke, however, brushes these off by saying that Tenpenny won't leave him alone due to his connections with the Grove Street Families and has Johnson help him kill Los Santos Vagos gangsters making a deal with the San Fierro Rifa. Johnson also meets Tenpenny, alongside Pulaski and Hernandez, at Ryder's house in Grove Street where he tells them of a train loaded with weapons coming into the city, which Johnson and Ryder then attack, taking the weapons.

Tenpenny, after helping Big Smoke and Ryder, begins to put pressure on Johnson to work for him and first uses his leverage to have Johnson kill a Los Santos Vagos 'cop-killing' gangster, which Johnson does. Tenpenny, in exchange for Carl helping him with the Vago, gives him the opportunity to disrupt a deal between the Ballas and Russian Mafia, which CJ takes full advantage of. Johnson then begins to work with others but is later called by Cesar Vialpando, his sisters boyfriend and the Varrios Los Aztecas leader, with Johnson joining him in an alleyway in Verdant Bluffs. Vialpando and Johnson then witness Tenpenny, Pulaski, Smoke and Ryder unveil the green Sabre used in the killing of Johnson's mother. Johnson then remembers his brother, Sweet, who had gone to Mulholland Intersection for a shoot-out against the Ballas. Sweet is shot during the shooting and the Los Santos Police Department arrest him after they ambush the area.

Badlands and San Fierro

Frank Tenpenny and Eddie Pulaski telling Carl Johnson about the DA on Mount Chiliad during The Green Sabre.

Sweet is taken 'upstate' by the police (as revealed by Mike Toreno) but Johnson, also present at the shooting, is taken by Tenpenny, Pulaski and Hernandez to Angel Pine in Whetstone. They have him kill and then photograph an old police officer being protected by the FBI in a cabin on Mount Chiliad, as he is about to turn states evidence against Tenpenny. Tenpenny then meets Johnson again when visiting The Truth, an old friend of Tenpenny's who is selling him marijuana he intends to plan on a District Attorney. Tenpenny tells Truth that Johnson will be paying for said weed, which is in part done when Johnson steals a Combine Harvester from a rival farm.

Johnson later moved to San Fierro after winning a run down garage in Doherty. Shortly after arriving he is contacted by Tenpenny who has him go to the Vank Hoff Hotel in Financial to take a DA's car, while working as a valet, to put some of the marijuana he had Carl purchase from Truth's farm in the trunk. Johnson then phones We Tip to inform them of the DA, who is threatening to expose Tenpenny and Pulaski. The San Fierro Police Department then turn up and arrest the DA for possessing the marijuana. Tenpenny and Pulaski then turn up at Johnson's garage and have him follow a journalist on his journey to Los Santos where he meets his informant. Johnson then kills the two to again protect Tenpenny and Pulaski.

End of C.R.A.S.H.

Frank Tenpenny shortly after hitting Jimmy Hernandez with a shovel during High Noon.

Johnson continues to enjoy life in San Fierro before moving out into Tierra Robada and Bone County, and then settling into Las Venturas. He is contacted again by Tenpenny and Pulaski from a house in Prickle Pine. Tenpenny informs Johnson that despite their best efforts and the efforts of Johnson, the 'gig is nearly up'. Tenpenny tells Johnson that keeping his badge is not important and that they are the same, trying to get out of the hole, so when someone steps on him he steps on Johnson. He then tells Johnson to go to Aldea Malvada, a ghost town, to collect a dossier and kill the DEA and FBI agent, which Johnson does. He later meets the two at Las Brujas, another ghost town, where he hands the dossier to Pulaski while Hernandez holds him at gun point.

Tenpenny exits the police car and gets a shovel from the boot before hitting Hernandez over the head. Hernandez falls to the ground and is hit again by a furious Tenpenny as Hernandez had been giving information to internal affairs. Tenpenny, however, is likely to have known about this since Johnson was in San Fierro as he did not mention Hernandez when talking about the DA and journalist, only stating that he and Pulaski were the targets. Tenpenny then hands the shovel to Carl and, thinking that Hernandez was dead, leaves 'to get drunk and get laid'. Tenpenny leaves and Carl digs a grave, although he escapes his intended fate with help from Hernandez, who is shot and killed by Pulaski. Johnson then chases Pulaski and kills him, ending C.R.A.S.H..

Trial and final days

Frank Tenpenny shortly before his death as Carl Johnson, Sweet, Kendl Johnson and Cesar Vialpando during End of the Line.

Tenpenny, shortly after returning to Los Santos, is arrested and put on trial for racketeering, corruption, narcotics and sexual assault. Pulaski, who had been killed by Johnson, was also charged in absentia. The case against Tenpenny and Pulaski is dismissed by the DA's office due to a lack of evidence. The outcome causes riots across the poorer neighbourhoods of Los Santos, which were hardest hit by Tenpenny and Pulaski's actions. Tenpenny continues with his work in the LSPD despite the riots and begins to recruit young officers into his circle. Johnson and Sweet, despite the chaos, continue to re-establish the Grove Street Families and then decide to take on Big Smoke. Johnson breaks into Smoke's drugs manufacturing factory where he confronts and kills Smoke.

Johnson, showing remorse for having to kill Smoke, is interrupted by Tenpenny who holds Johnson at gun point. Johnson is then forced to fill a briefcase with Smoke's drug money before throwing it back to Tenpenny. Johnson, however, distracts him by calling out his brothers name and Tenpenny quickly turns around, allowing Johnson to move before Tenpenny turns back and fires his shotgun. Tenpenny quickly works his way back through the factory but shoots the machinery in the factory with his shotgun, causing them to catch fire, in an attempt to kill Johnson. Tenpenny escapes by climbing into the cabin of a firetruck he had previously obtained and drives away. However, Sweet runs after him, jumps from a car and grabs hold of the truck's ladder while Johnson escapes the building.

Johnson then steals a car and begins chasing Tenpenny. After some time, Johnson positions his car under Sweet, allowing him to let go and fall into the car. The two then begin to follow Tenpenny and the firetruck through the poorer neighborhoods of the city, killing the pursuing police officers. Tenpenny continues to drive the truck but, when approaching the bridge from East Los Santos to Ganton, loses control and the truck goes off the bridge and lands in Grove Street. Sweet and Carl drive to the scene and are met by Kendl, Vialpando and Truth. The five witness Tenpenny climbing out of the cabin and attempt to call for back up, which due to the riots is not forth coming. Tenpenny tells the five that "fifty of me and this town would be okay" before dying. Johnson pulls out a gun and threatens to shoot him, to confirm Tenpenny's death but is stopped by Sweet, saying that the police will not investigate them as Tenpenny died in a traffic accident. According to a West Coast Talk Radio news update, Tenpenny's body is mutilated and stripped by the homeless. His body was discovered by officials after the end of the riots in Los Santos.


  • PC World ranked Frank Tenpenny the thirty-fifth most diabolical video game villains of all time.[1].
  • Game Informer named Frank Tenpenny the second best video game villain.
  • Frank Tenpenny could be based on Los Angeles Police Department officer Rafael Pérez, who was the centre of the Rampart Scandal, as a member of C.R.A.S.H..
  • Frank Tenpenny is similar in appearance to David Mack, another officer involved in the Rampart Scandal.
  • Frank Tenpenny is the first and only major antagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series that is a cop.
  • Frank Tenpenny is the first and only major antagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series that doesn't have a gang.
  • Frank Tenpenny is the first and only African-American major antagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series.
  • Frank Tenpenny is the first and only major antagonist in the Grand Theft Auto series that is not directly killed by the protagonist.

Mission appearances

GTA San Andreas