Baltimore-born R&B singer Mario arrested in assault

  • Mario
Mario (Photo courtesy of Baltimore…)
October 01, 2010|By Justin Fenton | Baltimore Sun reporter

Baltimore-born R&B singer Mario was arrested and charged early this morning after police responded to an altercation that involved his mother, according to court records and two law enforcement sources.

There are few details at the moment, but court records show Mario — whose full name is Mario Dewar Bennett — is charged with one count of second-degree assault. Sources said they were called to the 900 block of Fell St. after the singer's mother called police.

He was held on $50,000 bond by a District Court commissioner, which he posted and was released.

A few years ago, the singer started a charity to help young people struggling with drug abuse. The Baltimore Sun reported that the charity was a personal cause, as his mother has struggled for years with heroin addiction. Shawntia Hardaway's story was chronicled on an emotional MTV special, "I Won't Love You To Death: The Story of Mario and His Mom." At the time of the article, she had been sober for a year, and was helping Mario with the foundation.

He has appeared in several movies and on "Dancing With the Stars," released four studio albums, and in 2008, then-City Council president and now Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave Mario the keys to the city.

The police statement of probable cause follows:

At 12:53 a.m., an officer was dispatched to the 900 block of Fells St for a call for a "mental case breaking up property" inside an apartment. Officers met Hardaway in the front lobby — she was crying and appeared very upset, officers wrote. She said Mario was "throwing and damaging property" in the apartment they share, and had pushed her using his hands and forearms, causing minor pain. When police went up to the apartment, they found a damaged china cabinet and the floor littered with broken glass. A mirror was broken, and there was a large hole in a closet door.

She said it was the second such time he had put his hands on her in recent days — on Sept. 27, she said, they got into an argument in which he pushed her "eight feet into a living room wall, where Ms. Hardaway hit her head on the wall," police wrote in charging documents.

"When this officer asked the victim if she fears for her life in reference to her son's actions, the victim replied 'yes,'" the officer wrote.

There was no immediate word on what sparked either incident.

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