Hate Crimes of Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg, star of Boogie Nights, Planet of the Apes, and Pain and Gain and former pop music singer for Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
Mark Wahlberg, star of Boogie Nights, Planet of the Apes, and Pain and Gain and former pop music singer for Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. | Source

I was a bit shocked when I stumbled on this information while surfing the Internet. What happened was a bit unimaginable and beyond my own comprehension. I can honestly say that I have never had the thought or the urge to commit a racially-motivated violent and brutal attack on another human being. Hey, that's just me.

So, I was quite struck with dismay and shock when I read that super-star Mark Wahlberg had done such a thing, something so full of disregard, hate, and complete brutality.

Therefore, I was moved to write about it. Honestly, my motivation was partly anger: I remembered being bullied by racist kids when I was a child. And I had as many reasons to do bad things when I was a child too, but never even dreamed of doing what Mark Wahlberg had done; I grew up poor, raised by a neglectful single mother, in a violent neighborhood. Yet, I never did, nor ever wanted to attack anyone and most of all not for any racial reasons.

We will look at what it was exactly that Mark Wahlberg did back in his youth, who his victims were and the damage he did to them, and what was the outcome and his response to his own actions.

The Hate Crimes

The first incident occurred when Mark Wahlberg was 15 years old. He had already been hooked on cocaine and other drugs since the beginning of his teens. I imagine it is a time in a person's life when he is energetic and mischievous. Though, I have to wonder about the extremity of Mark's crimes at this age.

The assault occurred over a period of two days. Mark and his gang seemed a bit transfixed on attacking a group of black school children whom they stalked and attacked verbally and physically. On June 15, 1986 Mark and three other teenagers approached 12-year-old Jesse Coleman and his older brother and sister as they were walking home. The group chased the group of black school children on their bikes; one of the assailants told the children, "We don't like black ni--ers in the area so get the f--k away from the area!"

The group continued to chase the children on their mopeds, yelling, "Kill the ni--ers! Kill the ni--ers!" Each one of Mark's little gang threw rocks at their victims. By the time the children reached Burger King, Mark and the rest of the bullies turned and left; I'm assuming they didn't want their actions witnessed in a business area where they'd easily be spotted.

The next day, while Jesse Coleman was on a field trip to the beach with his class, Mark and his gang followed the group to the beach. As the group was returning from the field trip, Mark's group began yelling racial slurs at the children; Mark and his friends summoned more to join him and they threw rocks at the children, one hitting a black girl and another hitting a white girl. The teacher was able to get an ambulance there and the attackers ran away.

Nearly two years later, on April 8, 1988, Mark decided to turn his hatred towards Asians. Thanh Lam, while carrying two cases of beer from his car to his home, was struck by a large wooden stick wielded by Mark Wahlberg; Mark, at this time, called Thanh a "Vietnam fu--ing sh-t!" The blow knocked the man out.

Mark and two others left the scene. Mark then ran into another Vietnamese man named Hoa Trinh; at first asking the man for help in hiding from the police, when police came along, Wahlberg punched the man in the eye, knocking him to the ground; Trinh ended up losing that eye.

While in police custody, Mark continued to refer to "Slant-eyed g--ks" and other such slurs.

All of this is a matter of public record and Wahlberg admits to these incidents openly. For the last crime, Wahlberg was sentenced to two years in prison, but served 45 days and was released.

Mark has attempted to repent for his past behavior.
Mark has attempted to repent for his past behavior. | Source

Mark Wahlberg Repents

Like many people who have committed horrendous acts in the past, Mark has attempted to repent. He has taken that lame and over-done route of "finding God" and going to church, and has also started a charity foundation that helps at-risk youth.

It seems in his youth, Mark was helped by a neighborhood Catholic priest and the Boys and Girls Club to clean up his act. While the Boys and Girls Club was not too effective, they had to ban him from the club back in the day, the priest has remained friends with Mark since his youth. Mark has contributed money to the parish.

Well, if he needs to convince himself that he's a good person, or needs the aid of religion to do the right thing, I guess a person needs to do what they need to do. But all it really takes is a little bit of honesty, no need for all the fluff.

What Do You Think of Mark's Past Hate Crimes?

  • Must be something seriously wrong with him
  • He was just a kid, we all make mistakes
  • He has realized his mistakes and is now doing good for the community
See results without voting

While I have to wonder what was behind such hatred and cruelty, the fact remains that the crimes Mark Wahlberg committed occurred when he was a foolish youth, in a rough neighborhood, while he was hooked on hard drugs. Many of us in our youth make major errors, it is a time when we are at the peak of confusion and still learning hard lessons. Repentant or not, Mark's violent behavior is in the past.

Mark Wahlberg at the premier of The Shooter.
Mark Wahlberg at the premier of The Shooter. | Source

Mark's Hate Crimes

June 15, 1986
Jesse Coleman and his brother and sister and by-standers, attacked due to being black
Stalked, verbally attacked and threatened victims and threw rocks which struck victims
April 8, 1988
Thanh Lam and Hoa Trinh, attacked due to being Vietnamese
Victim called racial slurs and struck with heavy stick and knocked out. Other victim punched in the eye and lost eye due to attack.

Update | December 18, 2014

I thought I'd give an update here because a couple of things have happened recently related to these past hate crimes committed by Wahlberg. He has formally applied to the Massachusetts Board of Pardons to be pardoned for his 1988 conviction for the assault of the two Vietnamese men. Of course, there are people on both sides, some on his side and some who don't think he should be pardoned. However, he states that he has made something better of himself and wants to serve as an example that no matter what your life is like and what you've done, you can change.

Interestingly, one of his victims, Hoa Trinh, has come out and forgiven him. He says, basically, that we can make mistakes and be reckless in our youth and, for him, it's all in the past. He also states that Mark didn't put out his eye, he actually lost his eye in the Vietnam War. He also hadn't even been aware who it was who assaulted him; he didn't know it was someone who's become a major celebrity now.

There are indeed compelling arguments against Mark getting a pardon; one being that it doesn't really help his case of wanting to be an inspiration to youth. In fact, letting the conviction stand is better testimony about his mistake and that he's moved on from it. And many agree that Mark never handled his misdeeds well.

Still his victim, Mr. Trinh, has forgiven him and comes forth with great understanding and, in fact, compassion. Quite ironic.

But it gets better. Turns out Mark's people have contacted Mr. Trinh and Mark intends to meet with him. Looks like there is still time to make amends yet. It will be interesting to see how it unfolds.

Update | January 15, 2015

Well, we didn't have to wait long for this story to unfold. The prosecutor that worked to convict Wahlberg of his 1988 crime against the Vietnamese men has come out against giving him a pardon. Judith Beals, the attorney, is very accurate in stating that Wahlberg never really admitted publicly that what he committed in the late 80s were hate crimes and, in fact, a series of them. Like quite the bad habit. There is much missing in his mishandling of this issue. Even his request for the pardon makes it sound like his crime was an isolated incident, which, as you know, was not. He also makes no mention of the racial aspect of the incident.

I'd agree with Beals that a pardon sends a wrong message. If we are to pardon Wahlberg, then there's a long list of people that should be pardoned. Why him?

Of course, it should be mentioned, for one thing Mark mentioned it in his request for a pardon, that he is trying to get a concessionaire's license for his restaurants. Looks like that conviction could interfere with him getting that license. Seems when he finally takes action on this hate crime issue, it's still kind of all about him.

Update January 21, 2015 | Other Victim Not So Forgiving

It's been reported that a victim from the 1986 hate crime Wahlberg committed, for which he had received a civil rights injunction, does not think he should be forgiven and pardoned. She says he's still a racist and his crime was a hate crime and the conviction should stand.

Her name is Kristyn Atwood, now 38, and she was among the kids who had rocks thrown at them in '86 while Mark also hurled threats and the N-word. She was hit by one of the rocks.

However, the teacher who was with the kids at the time, Mary Belmonte, while admitting the incident was terrifying and horrific, has taken a sympathetic stance with Wahlberg, believing he should be forgiven.

Looks like this isn't over yet.

Update February 3, 2015 | Former Bodyguard Against Pardon

The list of people who do not want to see Wahlberg get the pardon for hate crimes he committed in the 1980s is ever-growing, it seems. His former bodyguard who used to be a part of his entourage had sued Wahlberg for an incident in 2001 in which he claims that Wahlberg punched him and bit his arm. According to Leonard Taylor, the bodyguard, Mark runs hot and cold and will be happy with you one minute and giving you the evil eye the next. He thinks Wahlberg really hasn't changed.

Speaking of entourage, made me think of the incident in which Wahlberg and his entourage got into a brawl with Madonna's entourage, which occurred close to the time he was in hot water for giving a guy a brutal beatdown at a Boston park back in the early 1990s.

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Anonymous 25 hours ago

Anti Social Personality. Anti Social personality....Great article and what is shocking is that the public is unaware of his actions. Obedience defiance disorder is what they call children/teens who commit crimes,not necessarily violent ones, lack empathy, blaming, manipulative then at age 18 (if behavior does not change) the diagnosis is anti social personality. It is difficult to read books and articles about this population . I am a parent who has a daughter with Obedience defiance disorder and I haunted every day with what ifs and denial. I am the reason she has it due to my addictions . As a parent, it is my responsibility and ethical duty to ensure that she focuses her "spirit" in productive direction and that it is clear that her action will have consequences so as to protect the people who interact with her. Talk therapy, cognitive therapy and the many approaches and a ton of in home services DID NOT WORK. What is amazing is that he has not been called out on it and with this personality disorder immediate consequences work.

joyo 7 months ago

Drugs or no, people are accountable. He wants a pardon to own a gun...Anyone here trust this fool with a gun???

fernando 20 months ago

he is racist

Ladyj 21 months ago

Well the Vietnam man did State he didn't take his eye out that he lost it in the war, now as for Mark himself I do believe anyone can change, but before even knowing about him being a racist I saw him on the micheal and kelly show and for some reason I thought to myself that he can be a racist' it was all in his demeanor , so iam totally surprise to read an article about him being a racist wow!!! What a coincident . But I do believe in forgiveness, Jesus did it over and over again .

He hasn't changed 22 months ago

The problem is Mark Wahlberg hasn't evolved from his racist teen years. As of 2001 (he was an adult and successful at this time), he used the N-word in anger (which was covered publicly) towards his former bodyguard, Jesse Matthew. Additionally, if Walhberg was truly sorry for his actions, he would have visited directly with the victims of his hate crimes and at least apologized personally or provided restitution (one man is permanently blinded from his actions).

dashingscorpio profile image

dashingscorpio 23 months ago

Every "sinner" has a future and every "saint" has a past!

It's not uncommon for teens hooked on drugs living in poverty to strike out at the world whether be racism or criminal acts.

What makes the human experience different for that of animal is we have the capability of (evolving). What we did yesterday doesn't have to become our way of life. We can change. I believe Mark Walberg did change.

DBarmak profile image

DBarmak 23 months ago

I'm not a fan of Mark Wahlberg. I think he comes off as kind of a tool. However, this article is just crucifying a man, a now family man for mistakes he made long ago. Let's also keep in mind these mistakes are ones hes publicly admited to not being proud.

I'd just like to point out that Mark also has a thriving youth charity to help kid's nor make his San me mistakes. He also.supports Red Cross and St. Francis food pantry.

Whatever the case maybe a saint has a past and sinner has future.

My point is this was a yiung man acting out who managed to turn his life into something amazing. Ifcanything hes a wonderful role model. Again, though I do feel he's a bit of a tool.

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 23 months ago from California, United States of America Author

That is both very interesting and surprising, that he's seeking a pardon for these crimes.

Texas 23 months ago

So I find out about this fact about Mark a month ago and have been trying to inform others about this part of his past that he is evidently forgot.

Today, he is asking the state of Massachusetts to pardon his 1988 assaults. He can ask for a pardon and most likely will get it since he is now a star; however, I personally believe that he needs to own up to his mistakes and do something about it. For one, seek these people out and help them. Secondly, actively get involve and be the spoke person for these type of crimes. He can do a whole lot more.

Texas 23 months ago

Heard about this and can't see how a person can stop becoming a racist. At least seek out these people and help them. How does Mark feel if someone knock one of his eye out? Please help those people that he has victimized ... especially when he has the means to do it.

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 23 months ago from California, United States of America Author

Thanks again, misterhollywood. I was very surprised when I first learned about this. Definitely provides a new perspective on his life.

misterhollywood profile image

misterhollywood 23 months ago from Hollywood, CA

I had no idea of any of this. Very eye opening. Voted up!

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 2 years ago from California, United States of America Author

I agree, dizzybee. Parents paying attention to their kids would make a world of difference. I truly feel it starts at home, in so many ways.

dizzybee 2 years ago

I actually just found out about all of this. What he did to these individuals is atrocious. What do we do? I'm a single mom of an 11 year old. I can't grasp that my son could be capable of such actions without out any indication to me. In my humble opinion I feel parents need to step up. Be aware of what's going on with your kids. Being a working single mom I can't be with my son 24/7. I just try to find as much as we can to touch base - get a feel for what's going on with him. I guess what I'm trying to say is that being young is no excuse for what he did. Kids are a product of their environment - wake up parents.

JD 2 years ago

Sandcastles, nah, he didn't do anything here in self-defence...just plain cowardice.

In the incident with the guy losing the eye, Wahlberg was running from the cops. He ran up to the victim, who he didn't even know, and said, "police coming, police coming, let me hide." After the police car passed, Wahlberg hit the dude in the eye. Court documents freely available quotes Wahlberg as saying "slant-eyed gooks" and using a meathook that resulted in the loss of the guy's eye.

JD 2 years ago

Here's my thought on the situation. If I had tore out another person's eye in an unprovoked, race-hate filled attack of violence, I would surely attempt to make amends if I was truly remorseful. This dude makes millions per year easily, says he has changed and sorry, yet has made no attempt to contact the person he brutally (AND UNPROVOKED) grieviously assaulted.

When asked if he’d ever attempted to make amends to the man he’d blinded, Wahlberg replied in the negative, claiming “You have to go and ask for forgiveness and it wasn’t until I really started doing good and doing right by other people, as well as myself, that I started to feel that guilt go away. So I don’t have a problem going to sleep at night. I feel good when I wake up in the morning.”


Just a question, though. Why are 3 brutal hate crimes ok for Wahlberg, but Paula Dean was burned at the stake for non-violent comments she made in her past?

Jamar Long 2 years ago

Racist of any sort isn't right no matter the race.... I'm black N I hate 2 admit it, but I use 2 B racist to whites N Mexican ppl... Me N my friends use to bully them physically N mentally... many factors can contribute to how a person treats a different race, mine was mostly family related...

I realized as I matured and got older that I shouldn't hate a certain race based on particular individuals of that group.... I learned to treat ppl as individuals for the good or bad that is done.... I now have several white friends N 2 main Mexican friends... I'm tryna get to the point that people can change, that's what life is about making specific changes in your life...

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 2 years ago from California, United States of America Author

Hi, Jodah. Glad you stopped by. It is very true that people can learn from their mistakes and everyone makes mistakes. This is a very simple but very true fact. Mr. Wahlberg is right near middle-aged, seems he must be way past the mistakes of his adolescence.

Hi, Ryan. It is definitely some very shocking but fascinating stuff. Glad you stopped by.

Fullerman5000 profile image

Fullerman5000 2 years ago from Louisiana, USA

Wow, I didn't know about any of this. I knew he got into a lot of trouble during his younger days. And I knew he had a lot of run ins with the cops but never knew any thing of this nature. Pretty interesting.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

Interesting hub Nate. I hadn't heard about these incidents in Mark Walberg's past but they are disturbing. People do make mistakes when they are young and stupid and often fueled by peer pressure. In this case also drugs. People can also repent and change and be repulsed by their past actions, others just pretend but deep down still harbor hatred and prejudice. I reserve my opinion of MW for now. We have to see how he continues to act now he has children of his own. To me he seems like someone who would have a short fuse but is trying to control it.

CRG 2 years ago

Because of this past I've never seen a film with him nor bought a single bit of his 'music'. It's no easier to forgive Michael Vick either. Both dirtbag douches who are way overpaid for relatively little talent. I'm sorry to see he has children, the world would have been better of if he hadn't procreated.

Eliza Lam 2 years ago

So sick of the excuses made for racist white people! "He was young he doesn't know better. She's old and of another generation." All of that is BS. Oh @ Sam Gravano imagine the hate "blacks" have towards white people for slavery, jim crow etc and how about the Natives your people did this thing called genocide? Now they are pushes on reservations if you didn't know. But you have hatred to "blacks" for beating people up. Ok

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 2 years ago from California, United States of America Author

John: I do know back in the early 90s, Mark and his entourage got into a fracas with Madonna's entourage and Mark called one of Madonna's group a homophobic slur. And he was adamant about not wanting to be in Brokeback Mountain. He's made statements, in the past, that indicate homophobia.

john 2 years ago

Mark Wahlberg used to be a gaybasher. Does anyone know how badly he beat gay guys up? Did he ever leave someone for dead?

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 2 years ago from California, United States of America Author

I think he should have too, Viet Nguyen. But I don't think he ever compensated his victims.

Viet Nguyen 2 years ago

I hope he compensated well for Hoa Trinh who lost an eye.

Ed 2 years ago

He's a certified Douchebag.

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 2 years ago from California, United States of America Author

That's exactly how I feel, Tina. People are selective and prejudice about who is forgivable and valuable; there are plenty of people who want to forgive Mark but not others. It all seems to depend on whether they value the victims or not and whether the victimizer fits the image of someone they consider valuable.

tina2121 2 years ago

Mark is a horrible human being. Why do we support him by watching his movies. It's funny how everyone is so quick to forgive him but Michael Vick can't be forgiven.

Tigermom4rl 2 years ago

When someone can admit his /her mistakes, learned from them and makes a difference, it says a lot . The past cannot be erased or forgotten but, it can be forgiven. Let's move on to the PRESENT

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 2 years ago from California, United States of America Author

Hate creates hate, no doubt about that, Sam. It can't create anything good.

Sam Gravano 2 years ago

When I was in high school in the 60's, groups of blacks would attack whites in bathrooms, gym, parking lots. I held much hatred for blacks until I was in my 40's.

3 years ago

I hate this guy

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 3 years ago from California, United States of America Author

Yes, George, it's all in the past and we all make mistakes; seems especially in our youth. Yes, I tried to present the facts, mainly, and show that he does do good things for the community. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

Georgie Lowery profile image

Georgie Lowery 3 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

I've never heard of these incidents - if I had, I may not be the Mark Wahlberg fan I am today.

We've all done dumb stuff, though not likely on this kind of scale. His fame is unfortunate in that it magnifies the things he's done in his past. These days, he's done a lot of good for people who really needed it. I hope the violence is behind him and I also hope he's made amends with those whom he hurt.

I'm glad you didn't present these facts in a sensationalist way and gave information that shows he's not totally a terrible bad guy these days.

NateB11 profile image

NateB11 3 years ago from California, United States of America Author

Yes SandCastles we make mistakes and we learn. A person can change in a split second. We can't hold anything against anyone forever, or at all, especially when they see what did and stop doing it. As I pointed out, he was a kid and it was a long time ago he did those things.

SandCastles 3 years ago

I could see a person being haunted for life for hitting someone and making them lose their eye. I take it, Mark didn't hit the man in self-defense. Mark did some terrible things when he was younger (13-21 years old). People can change though. I think Mark changed. Some people do turn to God and change and it isn't an excuse or a way to hide.

Mark never blamed his parents or his upbringing for his deplorable behaviour which is unusual; a lot of people blame or deny or they just downright lie. And it is typical for violent people to never stop being violent. They just find new victims.

I grew up in a violent neighbourhood and I grew up with violence all around me.

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