The group is based on the real-life C.R.A.S.H. unit of the Los Angeles Police Department, which was rocked by the notorious Rampart scandal that led to the suspension, dismissal and desk job assignments of dozens of LAPD officers involved in the scandal.
The in-game C.R.A.S.H. unit is loosely based on its real-life counterpart and the associated Rampart Division Scandal. Like the LSPD C.R.A.S.H., the LAPD C.R.A.S.H. also carried out actions of police brutality, intimidation and evidence-planting.
C.R.A.S.H. was founded by Frank Tenpenny and his partner Eddie Pulaski, who claimed that the unit's goal is to clean up the State of San Andreas from crime. In reality, the unit is extremely corrupt and made business with street gangs such as the Ballas. Due to the corruption of the unit, an Internal Affairs officer Ralph Pendelbury threatened to expose the actions of C.R.A.S.H. Tenpenny eventually found out and lured Pendelbury to the docks, where Pulaski assaults him. Pendelbury is eventually shot and killed by new C.R.A.S.H. member Jimmy Hernandez, after Tenpenny threatens Hernandez with his own death.
By 1992, the unit came into contact with Melvin "Big Smoke" Harris and Lance "Ryder" Wilson, two high-ranking members of the Grove Street Families. Tenpenny managed to have them join his cause, and organise the death of Sean "Sweet" Johnson, the leader of the Grove Street Families in a drive-by shooting by the Ballas. However, the Ballas accidentally killed Beverly Johnson, Johnson's mother.
Events of GTA San Andreas
Involvement in Carl Johnson's life
Carl Johnson, Sweet's brother, returned in 1992 to Los Santos, after Beverly's death. On his way back to Grove Street, he was arrested by Tenpenny and his men, just minutes after the murder of officer Pendelbury. Tenpenny threatened to frame Carl for Pendelbury's murder before dumping him in Jefferson, one of the Ballas' key areas of turf.
Tenpenny and his unit continued to involve themselves in Carl's life, planting evidence on him to link him to Pendulbury's death so in order to coerce him into working for them, with many of Carl's tasks including planting evidence on people due to testify against C.R.A.S.H.'s corrupt actions, and in some cases killing key witnesses.
Rise for power
However, the unit had decided that Carl was no longer useful, and Tenpenny planned to cut his ties with him. Tenpenny and Eddie found out on Hernandez' connections with the Internal Affairs, leading him to meet Carl in the desert, and knock out Hernandez, ordering Eddie to dispose of the two men. Eddie successfully killed Hernandez (who attacked him), but was killed by Carl shortly afterwards.
Fall from grace
Eventually, Tenpenny was charged with racketeering, corruption, possession and use of narcotics and numerous sexual assaults. However, as all the prosecution's witnesses have been killed by Carl, Tenpenny is acquitted, which ignites a riot in Los Santos.
Fearful of his life, Tenpenny tried to escape the city. Wanting Big Smoke's drug money, Tenpenny emerged just as Carl had killed Big Smoke and told him he had new recruits in the force who willingly followed him. Tenpenny started a fire in Big Smoke's Crack Palace downstairs, hoping to kill Carl in the blast, then flees in a fire truck. Carl escapes and his brother, Sweet, grabs hold of the firetruck's ladder; Carl catches him in his car and continues the chase. Eventually, Tenpenny loses control of the firetruck on the bridge over Grove Street and the firetruck crashes off the bridge. A mortally wounded Tenpenny crawls out of the truck, before succumbing to his injuries in the center of Grove Street, with his death being witnessed by Carl and Sweet.
Following Tenpenny's death, the riots subside and C.R.A.S.H is disbanded as all members are dead.
- The Introduction (Ralph Pendlebury killed)
- In The Beginning
- Running Dog
- Wrong Side of the Tracks
- Burning Desire
- Gray Imports
- The Green Sabre
- Body Harvest
- 555 We Tip
- Snail Trail
- High Noon (Eddie Pulaski and Jimmy Hernandez killed)
- End of The Line (Frank Tenpenny killed)
- Frank Tenpenny - Leader/Gang Officer (?-1992), deceased, died in a traffic accident.
- Eddie Pulaski - Gang Officer (?-1992), deceased, killed by Carl Johnson.
- Jimmy Hernandez - Gang Member (1992), deceased, killed by Eddie Pulaski.
- The UFE unit from Max Payne 3 (another game made by Rockstar Games; came out after Grand Theft Auto IV), bears a resemblance to the C.R.A.S.H. unit. Both units pretended to act as Law Enforcement bodies, while in reality, they had connections with gangs. Both groups opposed the protagonist of the respective game, whose actions led to the death of the leader of the unit and exposure of the unit's actions, leading to its disbanding.
- In the mobile port, instead of having a C with a siren in the middle, it's a blue C for their icon. It's almost identical to Catalina's icon, only with a color difference.