|Portrayed by||James Russo|
Michael Tendino grew up with Axel Foley and Jenny Summers in the same Detroit neighbourhood. In their teenage years, he and Foley would commit all sorts of mischief, including the criminal kind. At the age of fifteen, they stole a cadillac, but were stopped by the police. Tendino was sentenced to youth custody, but out of loyalty to his friend he kept Foley safe from persecution. It was presumably this event that turned Axel's life around and got him started as a police detective.
As an adult, Tandino evidently continued to live of small-time schemes until he was recommended by Summers to work as a security guard for the art dealer Victor Maitland in Beverly Hills. However, sometime before he went back to Detroit, he chanced upon a crate containing German bearer bonds lying unattended in one of Maitland's warehouses, and took some of the bonds with him. However, he was unbaware that these bonds were part of a smuggling operation run by Maitland, who took extreme exception to the theft and sent his chief bodyguard Zack after Tandino.