- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Vietnamese man Mark Wahlberg punched in the eye nearly three decades ago says he forgives the actor and supports his recent request for the state of Massachusetts to expunge the felony conviction.

“[Wahlberg] was young and reckless, but I forgive him now. Everyone deserves another chance,” Johnny Trinh, 59, told the Daily Mail in his first interview since the attack. “I would like to see him get a pardon. He should not have the crime hanging over him any longer.”

In Boston 1988 Mr. Wahlberg used racial slurs against another Vietnamese man, Thanh Lam, before cracking him over the head with a 5-foot-long wooden stick, knocking him unconscious. Moments later, the 16-year-old Wahlberg ran into Mr. Trinh and punched him in the eye.

The actor was charged as an adult for the double assault, serving 45 days of a 90-day jail sentence.

“He paid for his crime when he went to prison. I am not saying that it did not hurt when he punched me in the face, but it was a long time ago,” Mr. Trinh told the Daily Mail. “He has grown up now. I am sure he has his own family and is a responsible man.”

Media reports said Mr. Trinh was partially blinded from the incident, but he said his eye was already gone before the attack.

“I was not blinded by Mark Wahlberg. He did hurt me, but my left eye was already gone. He was not responsible for that,” he said.

Having the crime expunged from Mr. Wahlberg’s official record would allow him to apply for licenses that otherwise might have been refused. Unconfirmed media reports say the actor wishes to become a Los Angeles-area reserve police officer.

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