DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Crime

Mark Wahlberg Seeks Pardon For Racial Assaults

Actor, 43, wants Boston convictions stricken

Mark Wahlberg

View Document

Mark Wahlberg Assaults

DECEMBER 4--Actor Mark Wahlberg has filed a petition with the Massachusetts governor’s office seeking a pardon for criminal convictions stemming from his brutal 1988 assault of an immigrant he referred to as a “Vietnam fucking shit.”

In an application submitted last week to the state’s Advisory Board of Pardons, the movie star notes that he has “dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others.”

Wahlberg, 43, also reports that his criminal convictions “still legally impact me to this day,” noting that his prior record could be used to deny him a concessionaire’s license in California, where he lives with his wife and four children.  He adds that this is an “important consideration given my personal involvement in various restaurant ventures.”

Wahlberg’s criminal history was first disclosed by Shaun Assael, whose 1993 story in The Village Voice revealed that prosecutors alleged that the Bostonian had “demonstrated a continuing pattern of terrorizing people of color.”

The actor's pardon request includes a description of the April 1988 incident during which he attempted to steal two cases of beer from Tranh Lam as he departed a convenience store in Dorchester (where Wahlberg grew up). Wahlberg hit Lam over the head with a large wooden stick, knocking the victim unconscious. As he fled the crime scene, Wahlberg punched a second man, Hoa Trinh, in the face.

“During the incident, I was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics,” Wahlberg wrote in his petition. He added, “From later accounts of the incident, it is my understanding that I may have caused serious injuries” to the two men.

But Wahlberg skirts other ugly details of the attacks, which are included in the original prosecution sentencing memo.

Prosecutors reported that he called Lam a “Vietnam fucking shit” at the outset of the attack. When Boston cops apprehended Wahlberg and brought him back to the scene of the assault, he told officers, “You don’t have to let him identify me, I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-fucker whose head I split open.” Investigators reported that Wahlberg also made “numerous unsolicited racial statements about ‘gooks’ and ‘slant-eyed gooks.’”

In unrelated court filings, government lawyers accused the teenaged Wahlberg and two friends of chasing and throwing rocks at black schoolchildren. On successive days, the trio screamed racial epithets at the students and, during one chase, “the group of white males yelled, “Kill the nigger, kill the nigger,” according to a government complaint.

The children were set upon when Wahlberg & Co. spotted them walking through Dorchester. “We don’t like black niggers in this area so get the fuck away from the area,” one of the attackers said to three siblings traveling together. “The group of white males then chased [the siblings] using their mopeds," the complaint charged.

The following day, Wahlberg’s crew threw rocks at a group of students (and their teacher) at the conclusion of a field trip to Savin Hill Beach in Dorchester.

The decision to grant a pardon to Wahlberg--who says that he attends church on an almost daily basis--is in the hands of Deval Patrick, the first African-American governor of Massachusetts. (8 pages)