|For other uses, see Stretch.|
- "Yo motherfucker, I know little niggas like you being turned out on the daily. Talking' 'bout being hit up, nigga I swear, man, you ain't got no motherfuckin' respect!"
- ― Stretch
Harold Joseph, better known as "Stretch", is a character in the Grand Theft Auto series, who appears as a main character, the tritagonist to Franklin Clinton, and one of the two secondary antagonists of Grand Theft Auto V.
Harold Joseph was born in Los Santos and joined the Chamberlain Gangsters Families at a young age. He eventually worked his way up through the ranks and became a senior and respected veteran "OG" member within the gang, also earning his nickname "Stretch". He also became friends with up-and-coming members Lamar Davis and Franklin Clinton. However, Franklin developed an antagonistic relationship with Stretch, presumably due to his reckless and selfish behaviour. Lamar, however idolised Stretch from a young age.
Events of GTA V
Near the beginning of the game, he is released from prison for crimes which are never revealed, and Lamar plans a sort of reunion for himself, Stretch and Franklin. The trio first meet at Franklin's house where Franklin and Stretch both exchange insults/crude jokes and nearly fight.
After passing by a gunshop, they go to a factory at La Puerta for a drug deal with Ballas gang member D, which turns out to be an ambush by the Ballas, as revenge for D being kidnapped by Lamar and Franklin earlier. After Stretch kills D, the trio fight their way through the Ballas and manage to evade the police.
Some time later, Stretch tells Lamar and Franklin to buy drugs from a gangster in Grove Street. However, Trevor unexpectedly comes to the deal as well and thanks to him, it is revealed that the drugs are fake and that they were going to be scammed if it wasn't for Trevor interfering. Some Ballas members are also waiting to attack them after the failed deal. Franklin, Lamar and Trevor kill all the gangsters and manage to shake off the police. If Franklin escapes with Lamar (optional), he will tell Lamar on the way home that Stretch set them up.
Stretch eventually convinced Lamar to go off on his own to the Ballas hideout in Paleto Bay and tell the Ballas that they are willing to sell drugs as this would be a sort of a money making and peace making opportunity. In reality, this was a trap and Lamar ended up getting kidnapped by the Ballas.
However, after being convinced by Tanisha, Franklin with the help of his new criminal partners: Trevor Philips, Michael De Santa, and Lester Crest storm the hideout, kill all the Ballas, and rescue Lamar. While on the way home, the two have a small dispute during which Franklin tries to convince Lamar to leave the gangbanging lifestyle and get a real job. Franklin also tells Lamar about how Stretch hooked up with the Ballas during his time in prison and that he was the one setting them up the whole time.
By the end of the game, Franklin is given a choice to either kill Michael (option B) or kill Trevor (option A), or side with them, with the help of Lester, as they kill their enemies (option C), making a hitlist comprising of Stretch, Wei Cheng, Steve Haines and Devin Weston. Should Franklin choose to kill Michael or Trevor, Lamar gives Franklin a call after it is over and lets Franklin know that he has taken his advice on staying away from Stretch.
If Franklin chooses either A or B, he will receive a phone call from Lamar, who informs him that he has finally cut ties with Stretch, having agreed with Franklin's warning after thinking about what he'd said after rescuing him, Franklin wishes him the best and asks him out to hang out some time, Lamar agrees but not before hanging up, after telling Franklin that he is laying low for the time being (which is assumed that Stretch survived the game and will probably come looking for Lamar)
If Franklin chooses option C, he, Michael and Trevor kill a large number of FIB and Merryweather agents at the foundry in Murrieta Heights, after which they agree to kill their enemies. They give a call to Lester who tells them the current locations of their targets. Michael will agree to assassinate Stretch due to his lack of any association with Stretch. Stretch will be hanging out with his Ballas crew at the BJ Smith Recreational Center, talking about Franklin and Lamar. Michael interrupts the meeting, telling Stretch that he's got a message from his "homies" Lamar and Franklin and starts attacking the group, Stretch figures out that Michael is a friend of Franklin and orders his homies to kill him but instead, some may escape or Michael will end up killing them all, before or after taking out and escaping to Ballas, Michael kills Stretch and spreads the word to the others, including Franklin that his 'pal' 'ain't a problem no more', although Franklin mentions that Stretch was never his friend and he was a gangster who sold him and Lamar out, and thanks Michael, who drives away from Stretch's corpse .
If the player has a nightstick, a crowbar or a baseball bat, then they need to go for the bald character who is wearing green shorts. This will identify him from the Ballas. If the player uses Michael's special ability immediately after knocking out Stretch, then they stand a better chance of survival.
- D - Murdered for luring him, Franklin Clinton and Lamar Davis into an ambush.
- Unknown civilian - Murdered to steal his car and escape with Franklin Clinton and Lamar Davis from the police. (Optional)
From his appearances, Stretch is shown to be a violent, brutal, sadistic, selfish, reckless, cold-blooded and trigger-happy gangster, who for some reason, shows a very strong mutual dislike towards fellow gangster Franklin Clinton and the two frequently argue, leaving Lamar to pick a side, however most of the times Lamar tries to stay neutral to their conflict and tries to resolve their issues.
The possible reason for Franklin's dislike of Stretch could be due to Stretch trying to pull Franklin into the life that put him in jail in the first place, and also due to Stretch's unintelligent personality and his routine gangbanging life, while Stretch appears to dislike Franklin due to his attempts to leave the hood and make something real for himself as well as for scepticisms and his doubts about the deals they make and that Lamar and Stretch should also leave the hood and get some jobs which won't get them killed in the process.
He appears to have a very short temper, assaulting Franklin for poking fun at him for "dropping the soap" in prison, and is also very merciless as shown when he immediately shoots an unarmed D twice in the face when he discovered that he had betrayed them.
Stretch is also very deceiving and manipulating, as shown when he secretly changed sides in prison and pretended to still be loyal to the CGF while he was actually a traitor (unbeknownst to most) and several times used his influence on Lamar to manipulate him and try to make him think that Franklin is a snitch and to make deals with the Ballas which are actually set-ups for Franklin and Lamar to be killed. After the shootout at the scrapyard in The Long Stretch, he pins the blame on Franklin and Lamar for killing D and the Ballas even though he too participated in the shootout.
Stretch is a short, bulky man with numerous tattoos covering his body. He wears usual CGF clothes including a white T-shirt, blue shorts, a green hat and a silver chain. He is bald without his hat.
Grand Theft Auto V
- The Long Stretch
- Hood Safari (Post-mission phone call)
- I Fought the Law... (Post-mission phone call)
- Lamar Down (Betrayal/Post-mission phone call)
- The Third Way (Option C; Killed)
- It is possible to knock Stretch's cap off, and originally he didn't even wear the cap at all.
- Despite the hostility shown towards Stretch, it seems like Franklin still wanted to invite him into the Forum Gangsters set, although he may have just brought it up to silence Lamar.
- Stretch is very similar to Big Smoke, both men are bald and wear hats, both were high ranking members in the Families who eventually betrayed them, both aligned themselves with the Ballas, they both also were involved in the failed murder attempt on the Deuteragonist in their games (Sweet Johnson in San Andreas and Lamar in Grand Theft Auto V) and finally they both appear as secondary antagonist in their games.
- On Lifeinvader, Stretch is called a "busta" by Lamar. This could be a reference to Ryder from GTA San Andreas.
- It's possible that Stretch's age could be at around his 40's, since in the mission The Long Stretch, Franklin says, and I quote, "Damn, man, I gotta spend my day with another middle-aged fool trying to recapture his youth?". He says this line to Stretch, which he then asks Franklin to rephrase what he just said, then again maybe it's just a joke, or a way for Franklin to get back at him.