Mark Farmer had his red backpack with him in the early hours of last Friday when police found him at Infinity 13 tattoo studio at Skillman and LBJ. They unzipped that backpack and found a few thousand dollars worth of tattoo needles, parts and ink, plus a bag of weed.
"The cops were already right here, and I guess they heard the alarm going off already and caught him," a tattoo shop employee said Friday afternoon. Farmer was arrested for burglary and evading arrest and booked into Lew Sterrett, where he remains.
It wasn't the first time cops had caught the 22-year-old with a loot-filled red backpack. He was carrying one last October when he and a friend broke into the closed State Fair grounds early on the morning after Big Tex perished. A police officer found him riding his skateboard eating a cookie from a cellophane wrapper nicked from a nearby booth.
Inside the backpack were two bottles of red wine, a bottle of Sangria, nine cans of beer, one bottle opener, a dozen packets of hot cocoa and a bayonet. All but the bayonet had been stolen from Wine Country Bistro on Washington Avenue. Farmer and his friend had broken through some wooden lattice work and had some beer and food before taking the trip to the fair.
Lest Farmer seek to pin his misdeeds on the red backpack, it should be noted that it played no role in the theft of a $6,000 wedding ring from a Richardson high school teacher (and the grandmother of his infant child) a week before Christmas 2011. Police later recovered it from a Garland pawn shop.
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Nor was the backpack used when, several months earlier, Farmer barged into a Richardson home at 3 o'clock one morning and began hurling insults at the woman who lived there. When the woman's teenage daughter yelled at him to stop, he grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground. He briefly evaded police when, after being handcuffed, he gave his name as "Christopher Gerald," then bolted out the front door.
The responding police officer chased him to a nearby alley, figured out his real name, and quickly realized that Farmer was wanted for sexual assault. He was arrested and charged with evading arrest and burglary.
Rounding out his adult rap sheet is a September 2010 aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon was a skateboard, the victim was a 16-year-old kid. Farmer, then 20, confronted the teen in the parking lot of a mixed martial arts studio in Richardson and demanded to know why the boy had been "messing with my sister" (actually his 15-year-old friend). Police arrived after the owner of the MMA studio broke up the fight and found Farmer in the parking lot, his white shirt and jeans covered in the other boy's blood.
Farmer was never charged on the sexual assault charge but, in four years as an adult, he has more than a half dozen convictions for theft, assault, burglary and evading arrest. And he's now facing two more felony charges from the tattoo studio arrest, which, given his criminal history, could get him locked up for a time.