The celebrity websites are all atwitter with the news of Dorchester native and Hollywood megastar Mark Wahlberg’s application for a pardon. His crimes were … well, here are a couple of excerpts from the original documents. You be the judge.
Thanh Lam left his car carrying two cases of beer. As he crossed the sidewalk, Mark Wahlberg attacked Thanh Lam. Wahlberg was carrying a large wooden stick, approximately five feet long and two to three inches in diameter. Wahlberg approached Thanh Lam calling him a “Vietnam fucking shit,” then hit him over the head with the stick. Thanh Lam was knocked to the ground unconscious. Th[e] stick broke in two and was later recovered from the scene. Thanh Lam was treated overnight at Boston City Hospital.
After police arrested Wahlberg later on the night of April 8, 1988, Wahlberg was informed of his rights and returned to the scene of 998 Dorchester Avenue. In the presence of two police officers, he stated: “You don’t have to let him identify me, I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-fucker who’s head I split open,” or words to that effect….
Shortly after 9:00 p.m. on April 8, 1988, Hoa Trinh, an adult Vietnamese male who resides in Dorchester, was standing several blocks away from 998 Dorchester Avenue, near the corner of Dorchester Avenue and Pearl Street. Hoa Trinh was not aware of the altercation outside of 998 Dorchester Avenue.
Wahlberg ran up to Hoa Trinh, put his arm around Hoa Trinh’s shoulder, and said: “Police coming, police coming, let me hide.” After a police cruiser passed, Wahlberg punched Trinh in the eye, causing him to fall to the ground.
Police arrived and Hoa Trinh identified Wahlberg as the person who punched him. Wahlberg was placed under arrest and read his rights. Thereafter he made numerous unsolicited racial statements about “gooks” and “slant-eyed gooks.”
Trinh was permanently blinded in the eye that Wahlberg punched. Wahlberg served 45 days in prison for these assaults.
And then there’s this one.
As [three black kids] were walking [home in Dorchester], defendants Michael Guilfoyle, Derek Furkart, Mark Wahlberg and another white male began to follow them on bicycles. One of the defendants said to the [kids], “We don’t like black niggers in the area so get the fuck away from the area.” The group of white males then chased the [kids], using their mopeds. During the chase, the group of white males yelled, “Kill the nigger, kill the nigger” and each threw a rock at the Coleman brothers and sister…. [The next day,] the defendants … yell[ed] racial epithets…. Then … the group of white males began throwing rocks…. Defendants Furkart and Wahlberg also threw a rocks [sic], one of which hit Emily Harr, a white female.
And then there was the time that Wahlberg beat the crap out of his neighbor.
So now Wahlberg wants a pardon because his criminal record is apparently making it harder for him to open more restaurants. Cry me a river, Marky. Shoulda thought of that a long time ago. Worse, he has not even made any effort to apologize directly to the victims of his assaults, instead apparently figuring that a statement that he regrets his actions is good enough.
Nam Pham, executive director of VietAID, a Vietnamese community organization in Dorchester, said Wahlberg should first apologize directly to Thanh Lam, a Vietnamese man Wahlberg beat with a stick more than a quarter century ago. Wahlberg also screamed obscenities and racial epithets.
“If I were him I would want the scar on my record erased,” Pham said of Wahlberg. “But I would also ask if I could help erase the scars on the victim.”
In a separate episode, some from a class that was harassed in 1986 by a group of teens that included Wahlberg were not impressed with his request for a pardon.Mary Belmonte, the class teacher, remembered leading her terrified elementary school students down a side street to avoid the hail of rocks. “I’m sure he’s sincere and he wants to clear his name,” Belmonte said. “It would be nice if he could apologize and really own up to what he was.”
Asked for further clarification, here’s what happened.
Wahlberg’s publicist did not return calls for comment.
LOL. Better, more important things to worry about, I guess. You know, Hollywood stuff.
The newly relaxed guidelines for pardons and commutations may actually do some good by, for instance, allowing for the reduction of ludicrously long sentences for selling drugs and the like. But let’s be serious: any normal person with a record of violent assaults like Wahlberg’s wouldn’t have a prayer of receiving a pardon, especially in the first round of applications under the new guidelines. If a Hollywood megastar succeeds … well, that doesn’t send a good message at all. It seems to me that, while Wahlberg has obviously turned his life around in impressive fashion, there’s no convincing reason why he should not have to live with the small inconvenience that his criminal record continues to cause him. That inconvenience is a lot smaller than the one Hoa Trinh continues to experience as a result of Wahlberg’s crimes.