Sergeant Carl Stoddard is a central character and the secondary antagonist of Battlefield Hardline. He was a crooked Miami Vice cop, who served as Captain Dawes' trusted right-hand man, and was the former partner of Detective Nicholas Mendoza.
Stoddard was a former college football star, who later joined the force as an alternate to joining the US Army. He married and had two children, Decker and Mina who got a signed Tamu Tamu poster from Remy Neltz, though their official relationships remains unknown.
A severely corruptive Stoddard quickly coasted his way into Vice, with Captain Julian Dawes using him for various dealings with criminals such as Neil Roark and Henry Kang. In doing this, he became Dawes' number two, and joined his network of corrupted policeman, military contractors and mercenaries.
On their first field day as partners in 2012, Stoddard and Mendoza participated in a drug bust gone wrong when the two detectives were fired upon while arresting armed drug dealers. With no one left to interrogate, the last remaining drug dealers unknowingly walks onto the scene with lunch for his deceased companions. Seeing what has happened, the man proceeds to run, prompting Stoddard and Mendoza to chase him down, eventually leading to a car chase through Miami. During the chase, Stoddard was able to get close enough to the criminals car, allowing him to shoot out the tires, resulting in a subsequent crash and arrest of the suspect.
After the incident, Captain Dawes partnered Mendoza with Detective Khai Minh Dao and warned Stoddard that he would be on special detail.
Later, while Mendoza was trying to arrest drug dealer Remy Neltz and interrogate him about a deal he mentioned to have made with Stoddard, Stoddard moved in and shot Neltz dead, shocking Mendoza. Stoddard then offered to bribe Dao and Mendoza, but a disgusted Mendoza angrily left the scene. They would later inform Dawes about this who then encouraged them to find any evidence that links Stoddard to Neltz. Mendoza managed to find some conclusive evidence in the form of a tape recording by Neltz and later encountered Stoddard as he attempted to recover Neltz's cash.
Following a firefight with the remnants of Neltz's men, Mendoza held off arresting Stoddard as he need him to help rescue Khai from the rest of the men at the mall. Successful, the three managed to escape and presented the evidence to Dawes who then destroys it and reveals that Stoddard had been working on his behalf the entire time and that Khai and the rest of the police had been on it. Due to Nick's inability to become corrupt, they arrest him and frame him for stealing the last funds which Neltz was trying to transfer in his money laundering scheme.
While investigating the house of Neil Roark, Khai and Nick witness a meeting between Stoddard, Roark, and other crime lords over making a deal to pay for Preferred Outcomes services. Afterwards Khai leaves to try and apprehend Stoddard, but to no avail as Roark discovers Mendoza's presence on the property.
Mendoza and his crew formulate a plan to break into Dawes' vault to steal all his money and thereby ruin him. To do so, however, Marcus Boone suggests they pick up a special safe cracking device known as the Brute from Tony Alpert, to which everyone agrees. During their meeting with Alpert, however, they learn that Stoddard had put a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar bounty on Nick's head alive, promting Alpert to capture Nick for the bounty and Boomer out of shear hatred.
While Alpert had made arrangements with Stoddard for him to come get Nick himself, he later learned that his prisoners had escaped and was killed by them soon afterward. Despite this, Stoddard was able to track Mendoza back to his hideout and proceeded to raid it. Upon doing so, he took Tyson hostage before being struck in the head by Khai. After dealing with her, he found himself at gun point where he was then shot and killed by Nick.
Immediately after his death, Stoddard's phone received a call from Dawes who requested an update on the situation. In spite of his former Captain, Nick let the call go to voicemail and took a picture of Stoddard's corpse before sending it to Dawes to let him know his right-hand man is dead and that they're coming for him.
Upon discovering Dawes' location, Nick proceeded to confront him alone due to the circumstances. While making his way toward Dawes, Nick overhead his men talking of Stoddard's death. Inside the compound, Dawes mentions Stoddard's death as an example of how ruthless Mendoza has become and offers him to be his new right-hand man in his organization and eventual successor. Despite this, Mendoza decides to enact his revenge against Dawes once and for all and fatally shoots him.
— Khai To Mendoza in Episode 2.
Stoddard is portrayed as a humorous, effective, and cocky but somewhat lazy detective at the beginning of the episodes. Seeing Mendoza as a subordinate of lower ranking, Stoddard isn't afraid to use his status as a mentor or supervisor to force Mendoza in to doing all of the hard work, as seen in Prologue. This is later revealed to be a façade, as his real persona is a murderous, greedy yet intelligent corrupt cop who works under Dawes and prefers to go by his violent ways.
He is shown to be a cold-blooded killer, killing Remy Neltz (as he knew Remy before who signed his children's tamu) and wasn't hesitant to frame Mendoza for the corruption. This implies that Stoddard doesn't put much care in to who he kills, as later on in the game, he doesn't think twice about murdering Mendoza.
Stoddard has no guilt or remorse for his actions, and it is implied that he was a emotionless sociopath who will do anything to save his neck from the truth. Furthermore, he seems to put little care in his job as a law enforcer, as Mendoza called him out for not watching his back when they performed a drug raid at the beginning of the game.
Stoddard is more or less a cop who "speaks and acts before thinking", shown when enemies appears out of nowhere, he kills them instantly. At two points in the game, he unintentionally offended Mendoza by making mocking remarks about Mendoza's Cuban culture and food, calling them "beans and rice" and "plantains", while also sarcastically mocking his status as a young and upcoming detective.
Despite these negative traits, it appeared that Stoddard felt bad about Nick not joining their organization. When he confronted Mendoza shortly before he was killed by Mendoza himself, Stoddard mentioned that he taught Mendoza everything he knew, implying that he was sort of a mentor and friend to Mendoza, besides being his former partner when he was a rookie detective in Vice.
- Stoddard is the employer of Tony Alpert.
- He was initially believed to be the main antagonist, until it is revealed later that Captain Dawes is the main antagonist, while Stoddard is the secondary antagonist.
- He also serves as a personal antagonist to Mendoza and Khai.