- "The streets have spoken! Now leave my people alone!"
- ―Manny Escuela
Manuel "Manny" Escuela (1973-2008) was a character in Grand Theft Auto IV. He was a 35-year old Puerto Rican ex-convict who had apparently changed his ways, and wanted to clean up the streets of Bohan to make it safe for the kids.
Before GTA IV
Manny Escuela was a Puerto Rican-American who grew up in South Bohan. It is implied he was a former member of the Spanish Lords and a former heroin addict, but had now changed his ways. He claimed that he owed too much to the "streets" and wanted to clean them up to settle his debt to society. However, he had also hired a cameraman, Jay Hamilton, to film his quest, leading many to believe that he was only interested in becoming famous. He operated out of the West Bohan Community Center where he ran a youth outreach program and also was a dance instructor.
Events of GTA IV
Manny was eventually introduced to Niko Bellic by his childhood friend Mallorie Bardas. Rather than personally clean up Bohan himself, Escuela paid Niko, who was broke, to do the dirty work for him in the missions Escuela of the Streets & Street Sweeper. Niko drives around town exterminating drug dealers under the request Escuela, who arrived afterwards with a camera crew to take credit. In an attempt to make his show more believable, he meets corrupt cop Francis McReary. Francis even appears in one of Escuela's videos. Later, Niko, in the mission The Puerto Rican Connection, Niko kills some of Manny's buddies.
Escuela was well-known in South Bohan, but generally disliked by most characters Niko interacts with. Even Niko is beyond irritated by Escuela's antics and ridiculous claims. At one point Escuela even took credit for the creation of rap, despite his obvious lack of skill, and implies he refused to continue because of his distaste with commercialization.
Escuela's annoying habit of filming finally went too far when he attempted to film a confrontation with another "community leader" of sorts, drug empress Elizabeta Torres. Niko goes to visit Elizabeta, but Manny and Jay arrive to tell her to stop selling drugs. However, with the police closing in on her operations, she is in a paranoid, cocaine-fueled rage and shoots both Manny and Jay in the head. She then pays Niko to deliver the bodies to a black market organ dealer, the dealer states the organs will help a lot of people, Niko says "He'd been trying to help the streets his whole life... maybe he'll be actually doing it now."
Manny Escuela was a vigilante, one who solely tried to stop neighborhood crimes, particularly gangs and drug dealers. Escuela cared more about fame and notification rather than his cause. Escuela also had a distaste of law enforcement, as in a cutscene during Street Sweeper, he was filming himself with Francis McReary, and said to his face, "you know, for a cop, you're not that bad..." As soon as McReary left, he told his viewers to distrust law enforcement and to only trust him.
LCPD Database record
First name: Manny
Place of birth: South Bohan
Affiliations: Linked to the Spanish Lords
- 1994 - Fraud
- 1997 - Possession Controlled Substance: Heroin
- South Bohan based fraudster and drug dealer.
- Former member of the Spanish Lords
- Reinvented himself as a community leader and started a youth center.
- Suspected in assaults against criminals around his neighborhood.
- GTA IV
- Escuela of the Streets (Boss)
- Street Sweeper (Boss)
- The Puerto Rican Connection (Boss)
- Have A Heart (Killed)
- Manny is likely based on Latin Kings leader Antonio "King Tone" Fernandez who, despite being the leader of one of New York's biggest criminal gangs, masqueraded as a community leader. Like Manny, he was also the subject of a documentary entitled "Latin Kings: A Street Gang Story." Manny even wears black and gold, LK colors.
- His last name, Escuela, means "school" in Spanish.
- A mural depicting Manny can be seen in Bohan in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, a block away from the South Bohan safehouse.
- Players are led to believe Manny used to do drugs and was a criminal. He claims he "ain't touched a drug in years" in the mission Escuela of the Streets, as well as his LCPD record noting his possession of heroin in the past.
- In The Ballad of Gay Tony, Manny's inexplicable disappearance is referenced by Troy (the doorman of Hercules), as he muses to Luis Lopez during Not So Fast "They're going to make a show about me! Can you believe it! Well, originally, they were going to make a show about some Puerto Rican guy in Bohan (Manny), but he disappeared.".
- Even though Manny seems to be somewhat homophobic, his clothing appears flamboyant as his tracksuit bears close similarity with Gay Tony's, albeit with a hood and striped ankle socks.
- Like most characters in the game, Manny will don a unique helmet when riding alongside the protagonist on a motorbike. His helmet is one of black with orange, and yellow stripes that match his outfit.
- Manny mentions during one mission that he aspires to be "like one of them rich guys who makes computers and cures AIDS and shit", a tongue-in-cheek nod to Bill Gates and his charity through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
- One of the many charity events he runs is a "Tex-Mex" cooking class, as seen in the opening cutscene for Street Sweeper.
- Manny is the only former employer not to be killed by Niko Bellic, but killed by Elizabeta Torres.
- Like Vlad Glebov, his police record status is "Missing."
- Manny likes all rap and hip-hop stations in the car. He will compliment Niko on his "beat" and will start thinking about ideas for his videos. Other stations will lead to a small but harmless argument.
- Manny's last name is misspelled in the Liberty City Post and Liberty Tree.
- He has the same last name as Javier Escuela from Red Dead Redemption, another Rockstar game. Javier is a Mexican outlaw who betrayed the game's protagonist, John Marston.
- In the beta version the main color of his jacket was blue instead of black.
- His file on the LCPD Database will list him as missing after the events of Have a Heart.
- When you fail the mission in Have A Heart, he will be listed as missing on the police computer, even though he will appear again in the mission.