Over the last few days, the media has put a spotlight on Mark Wahlberg's criminal past -- a past that a lot of us weren't even aware of.
Mark, who's currently a co-owner of the Walhburger fast-food chain, filed a petition for a criminal pardon to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick asking for his past crimes to be stricken from his record.
Mark's trying to open up more Walhburgers across the country, but he's afraid that because of his past convictions and criminal record that he won't be able to get appropriately licensed in certain states.
“I am deeply sorry for the actions that I took on the night of April 8, 1988, as well as for any lasting damage I may have caused the victims,” he wrote in the petition. “Since that time, I have dedicated myself to becoming a better person and citizen so that I can be a role model to my children and others.”
So, what exactly did he do that was so bad?
Before Wahlberg rose to fame with his rap group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, he was the aggressor in multiple racially-motivated hate crimes.
On June 15th, 1986, Jesse Coleman, a 12-year-old black kid was walking home with his older brother and sister in Dorchester. Mark, who was 15 at the time, along with three friends, began to follow Jesse and his siblings. One of Mark's friends shouted at them, "We don't like black niggers in the area, so get the fuck away from the area,” according to court documents.
The three black kids began to run away, while Mark & his friends chased after them on bikes chanting "Kill the nigger, kill the nigger,” while hurling rocks at their heads. Thankfully, the Coleman kids found refuge inside of a Burger King, and Wahlberg and the boys on bikes rode off.
It didn't stop there.
The following day, Jesse and his classmates from Dorchester’s Mather School, along with his teacher, Mrs. Deshales, all traveled to Savin Hill Beach for a class field trip. There, Jesse once again encountered Wahlberg and his friends. As the class was heading back to Dorchester, Wahlberg and his friends once again began “yelling racial epithets” at them and “throwing rocks.” One of the rocks hit Krystyn Atwood, a black girl, and another hit Emily Harr, a white girl. Mrs. Deshales ordered an ambulance, which managed to scare off Wahlberg and his friends.
The most physically violent attack Mark Walhberg committed happened on the night of April 8th, 1988.
At 9 p.m. that evening, Thanh Lam was parked his car and exited carrying two cases of beer. Suddenly Lam, a Vietnamese resident of Dorchester, was approached by Wahlberg, then 16, who was carrying “a large wooden stick, approximately five feet long and two to three inches in diameter,” according to court documents. Wahlberg yelled at Lam, calling him “a Vietnam fucking shit,” and then hit him in the head with the stick. Lam was knocked out cold.
Wahlberg and fled from the scene and approached a bystander, Hoa Trinh, also Vietnamese. He told him, “Police coming, police coming, let me hide,” and after the cop car passed by, punched Trinh in the eye, rendering him partially blind. Trinh eventually fingered Wahlberg, and the cops arrested him.
Later that evening, Boston police brought Wahlberg back to the scene of the crime where, in the presence of two officers, he looked at Lam and stated, “You don’t have to let him identify me, I’ll tell you now that’s the mother-fucker whose head I split open.” He also proceeded to shout a bunch of racial epithets about “gooks” and “slant-eyed gooks.”
Both crimes happened during the months before Marks' 17th birthday. As a result, Wahlberg was tried as an adult, and charged with attempted murder. He eventually pleaded guilty to assault, and was given a two year prison sentence at Suffolk County Deer Island House of Correction, but was released after serving just 45 days.
All these years later, Mark has seemingly turned his life around. He's an Oscar nominated actor, he's married, he's a father to four young children, and he's also a devout Catholic. Mark Walhberg has his own foundation for at-risk teens, the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, and supports The Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women and Children. He has an estimated net worth of around $200 million.
Would you ever have had any idea that Mark was responsible for such heinous crimes? Do you think he deserves to be pardoned?
[via The Daily Beast]