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|“||Welcome home, Carl. Glad to be back? You hadn't forgotten about us, had you boy?||„|
|~ Frank Tenpenny welcoming Carl back home.|
|“||Now we get this straight, Carl. We own you. You're ours. We could take a shit on you from such a height, you'd think God himself has crapped on you. You understand?||„|
|~ Tenpenny's threat to Carl.|
|“||Carl, you motherf-ckin' piece of shit gangbangin' c-cksucker!||„|
|~ Tenpenny cursing out Carl before trying to kill him by shooting a generator and causing an explosion.|
He is a corrupt senior police officer of the LSPD and the nefarious leader of the CRASH Unit, thus appearing as the superior of his right-hand man Eddie Pulaski. Throughout the course of the game, Tenpenny wants anyone who know about his corruption to be killed and resorts to whatever necessary means to maintain that secret. He is also the archenemy of the game's protagonist Carl "CJ" Johnson.
He was voiced by Samuel L. Jackson, who also played Gator Purify in Jungle Fever, Greg Meeker in White Sands, Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, Ordell Robbie in Jackie Brown, Elijah Price in Unbreakable and Glass, Roland Cox in Jumper, Officer Abel Turner in Lakeview Terrace, Octopus in The Spirit, Stephen in Django Unchained, Chaney in Oldboy, Richmond Valentine in Kingsman: The Secret Service, Major Marquis Warren in The Hateful Eight, Mr. Barron in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Preston Packard in Kong: Skull Island and Marcus Banks in Spiral: From the Book of Saw.
Tenpenny was a corrupt senior police officer of the LSPD who is leading the department's corrupt unit, C.R.A.S.H. He has his colleague and right-hand Eddie Pulaski and their new recruit Jimmy Hernandez by his side.
He is first seen confronting Carl Johnson, who has just arrived home in Ganton, Los Santos after living in Liberty City for five years, where he accuses him of bringing drug money. He and his accomplices take him to Ballas territory and drop him there but not before threatening to frame him for the murder of colleague Officer Ralph Pendulbury (who threatened to expose the units true motives and was killed by Jimmy Hernandez on orders from Tenpenny) which allows Tenpenny and his henchmen to manipulate CJ for quite some time. From that point on, Tenpenny and his henchmen would appear in various points such as telling CJ and Ryder about a train with weapons would be coming, leaving Big Smoke's house, and ordering CJ to kill a foreigner in a warehouse. Later he and Pulaski assist the Ballas run the drug industry in Los Santos
Later, he is seen in the garage of the Green Sabre with Big Smoke and Ryder, revealing that Tenpenny had orchestrated the hit that would kill CJ's mother (the actual target being Sweet, CJ's older brother and leader of the GSF), crossing the Moral Event Horizon. After a gang fight with the Ballas whichnended with Sweet being shot, Tenpenny arrests CJ and takes him into the mountains. From that point on, he orders him to murder or arrest anyone who would try to expose his evil deeds or he will have Sweet be put in a Ballas cell block.
Tenpenny has CJ meet him and Pulaski in the deserts in Las Venturas where Tenpenny attacks Hernandez for betraying him and orders Pulaski to kill him and CJ. He leaves them there where Pulaski is later killed by CJ.
Later on, he faces trial wherein he and Pulaski (unless CJ knows otherwise who previously killed Pulaski) were charged with corruption, sexual assault, narcotics and racketeering, but the charges are dropped to the murders or disappearances of the people who try to expose him. This triggers a riot in Los Santos, meant to be a rather obvious nod to the infamous 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Tenpenny confronts CJ in Big Smoke's hideout, telling him he plans to leave town. On the top of that, he has new recruits.
He attempts to kill CJ by shooting him with a shotgun, but CJ tricks Tenpenny by yelling Sweet's name thinking Sweet is behind him and CJ was able to miss Tenpenny's gunshots, he then attempts to kill him in an explosion of the hideout, but failed as CJ was able to escape unharmed. Sweet doesn't accept his getaway so he climbs up to his firetruck. CJ rescues him and battles Tenpenny through town shooting at cops trying to kill them. Eventually Tenpenny loses control of the firetruck which ends with the firetruck falling of a bridge and crashing into the GSF territory. Tenpenny climbs up the wreckage and rants about how he should clean town of crime before finally dying of his wounds.
CJ was about to shoot Tenpenny but Sweet tells him not to, leaving it as "he killed himself in traffic accident no one to blame" so the Grove Street Families would not be involved with Tenpenny's death and leaves the scene of Tenpenny's death to go get something to eat, CJ then confronts the now deceased Tenpenny one final time he points his finger and circles it over his head sarcastically saying "see you around... Officer". He the goes joins the others for meals.
It was later revealed that after the riots were over Tenpenny's corpse was stripped and mutilated by the homeless.
Frank is a corrupt police officer, and is depicted as a very violent, sadistic, callous, and impulsive man. He often used Carl as his "dog" and is also quite arrogant and ruthless and is easily angered if things doesn't go pretty well. He also had helped both Vagos and Ballas to weaken both Aztecas and GSF in order to gain more power and respect from them instead of preventing them from committing more crimes.
At the start of the game where CJ is arrested, Tenpenny says to CJ, "Welcome home Carl, glad to be back? You haven't forgotten about us, have you boy?" Carl replies with, "Hell no, Officer Tenpenny, I was just wondering what took y'all so long." 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 abandon their ideals and assist in his crooked and self-serving pursuits. He shows a callous disregard for the people surrounding him, particularly those like Carl whom he has power over. He sees such people as tools and eliminates all of those who either outlive their usefulness to him or get in his way, even including his own fellow officers, Hernandez and Pulaski. Tenpenny exhibits megalomania and considers himself above the law. He believes that because he does good work, he is entitled to enrich himself at the city's expense.
Frank Tenpenny also appears to have few qualms in abusing people verbally or physically and seems to be fond of practicing brutality on others. Before the final mission, End of the Line, he realized that Carl has "gone away from him" and decided to eliminate him, which shown in the End of the Line, he attempted to kill Carl by using his shotgun but fails to do so.
|“||Intimidate those who intimidate others, Carl. It's my job.||„|
|~ Tenpenny to CJ.|
|“||You still don't get it, do you Carl? This ain't about keeping some f-ckin' badge!||„|
|~ Tenpenny to CJ.|
|“||(CJ: F-ckin' Smoke. Oh, Sweet!) Sweet is alive. Alive and inside. He's in a prison hospital, being treated for gunshot wounds, awaiting trial. Now you stay the f-ck away from Smoke and stay the f-ck away from us. Otherwise, Sweet's gonna find himself in a Ballas cell block, getting in touch with his feminine side.||„|
|~ Tenpenny ordering CJ not to kill Big Smoke.|
|“||YOU SNITCH PIECE OF SHIT! YOU VATO ASSHOLE! YOU SOLD US OUT!||„|
|~ Tenpenny attacking Hernandez with a shovel for ratting him and Pulaski out.|
|“||You know, you're gonna thank me one day — for opening your f-ckin' eyes. OH, I almost forgot, Carl! Time to die. (CJ: Uh, Sweet!) What?! Mother-... It ain't over, Carl. It ain't over!||„|
|~ Tenpenny planning to have CJ killed but failed.|
|“||Come on assholes, I'll take you all! You're mine! Mine! I run this town! Hey, over here! Hey! Officer down, come on! Hey! Assholes you never understood what I did! 50 of me, and this town would be okay! I took the trash out! I did! And I'd do it all again!||„|
|~ Tenpenny's final words before he dies of his wounds.|
- Tenpenny is based off a real-life LAPD officer named Rafael Perez, who was a key figure in the LAPD Rampart Scandal in the late 1990s.
- Tenpenny and Molly Schultz are the only two antagonists not to be killed by the protagonist; instead, they both are killed accidentally. However, Tenpenny is the only main antagonist to die in this fashion.
- Tenpenny, Eddie Pulaski, Steve Haines, Andreas Sanchez, Molly Schultz and Sergeant Jerry Martinez are the only antagonists of the GTA series who are corrupt law enforcement officials; Tenpenny and Pulaski are corrupt police officers, Sanchez and Haines are corrupt FIB agents, Schultz is a corrupt Lawyer and Martinez is a corrupt soldier.