- "See, it's the streets man, but people gotta understand the struggles... for real, you know what I'm saying? They gotta understand the struggles, yeah..."
- ―Manny Escuela speaking to camera in Escuela of the Streets.
Manuel "Manny" Escuela is a main character in Grand Theft Auto IV. He is a 35-year old Puerto Rican ex-convict who had apparently changed his ways, and wanted to clean up the streets of Bohan, Liberty City to make the neighborhood a safer place, particularly for children.
Before GTA IV
Manny Escuela is a Puerto Rican-American who grew up in South Bohan. It is implied that he is a former member of the Spanish Lords and a former heroin addict, but is now clean and has changed his ways. He claims that he owes too much to the "streets" and wants to clean them up to settle his debt to society. However, he has also hired a cameraman, Jay Hamilton, to film his righteous undertaking, leading many to believe that he is only interested in fame and glory. He operates out of the West Bohan Community Center where he runs a youth outreach program, and is also a dance instructor.
Events of GTA IV
Manny is eventually introduced to Niko Bellic by his childhood friend, Mallorie Bardas. Rather than personally clean up Bohan himself, Escuela pays Niko, who needs the money, to do the dirty work for him in the missions Escuela of the Streets & Street Sweeper. Niko drives around town exterminating drug dealers at the request of Escuela, who arrives afterwards, with a camera crew, to take credit. In an attempt to make his show more believable, he meets corrupt cop, Francis McReary, who appears in one of Escuela's videos. Later, Niko kills some of Manny's friends in the mission The Puerto Rican Connection.
Escuela was well known in South Bohan, but generally disliked by most. Even Niko is beyond irritated by Escuela's antics and ridiculous claims. Escuela even goes so far as to take 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 pushes the limits when he attempts to film a confrontation with another "community leader" of sorts, drug baroness Elizabeta Torres. Niko visits Elizabeta, but Manny and Jay arrive to tell her to stop selling drugs. With the police closing in on her operations, she is in a paranoid, cocaine-fuelled rage and shoots both Manny and Jay in the head. She then asks Niko to deliver the bodies to a black market organ dealer, who 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 is a vigilante who attempts to stop neighborhood crime by himself, particularly gangs and drug dealers. He cares more about fame and notoriety, rather than his cause.
LCPD Database record
1997 - Possession Controlled Substance: Heroin
- Former member of the Spanish Lords
- Reinvented himself as a community leader and started a youth center.
Prominent Appearances in Missions
- GTA IV
- Escuela of the Streets (Boss)
- Street Sweeper (Boss)
- The Puerto Rican Connection (Boss)
- Have a Heart (Killed)
- Manny is likely based on the Latin Kings leader, Antonio "King Tone" Fernandez who, despite his role in 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 take drugs and was a criminal. He claims he "ain't touched that shit in years" in the mission Escuela of the Streets, as well as his LCPD record noting his possession of heroin in the late-1990s.
- 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.".
- 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 deceased former employer not to be killed by Niko Bellic, since he is killed by Elizabeta Torres.
- Manny likes all hip-hop radio 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 a similar surname as Javier Escuella from Red Dead Redemption, another game made by Rockstar. 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. This can be seen in his artwork.
- His file on the LCPD Database will list him as missing after the events of Have a Heart. Vlad Glebov is also listed as missing in the database despite being murdered.
- When you fail the mission "Have A Heart", he will be listed as missing on the police computer, even though he will appear again in the mission.
- Manny has a habit of referring to other people as "man" ("That's how I roll, man", "Man, what is this, man?") his name is likely a satirical nod to this habit.
- Manny seems also to be proficient in cooking tex-mex food as he's also promoting cooking lessons in the community center.