Prosecutors decided on Wednesday (November 3) to drop misdemeanor assault charges against Mario in connection with an alleged attack on his mother last month in Baltimore.
According to The Associated Press, a spokesperson for the Baltimore state’s attorney’s office said the R&B singer’s mother, Shawntia Hardaway, changed her story on the witness stand on Tuesday and said that she was under the influence of drugs and alcohol when she called police and that Mario had not assaulted her.
Mario (born Mario Dewar Barrett) was arrested on October 1 at the apartment he shares with his mother after she claimed that he had hit her. He was charged with assault and released on $50,000 bail.
According to a statement to MTV News from the Baltimore Police Department following the arrest, police found Hardaway sobbing in the lobby of their apartment on Fell Street around 12:50 a.m. She informed police that her son was in their home “throwing and damaging property” and that he had “started yelling at her and he used his hands and forearms and pushed her in the chest and shoulder area causing minor pain and discomfort.” Officers found a smashed mirror and a closet door with a hole in it. In addition, a china cabinet was broken and shattered glass covered the floor, according to reports at the time.
Hardaway also said the incident was not the first time her son had assaulted her. She told police that on September 27, Mario had pushed her “eight feet into a living-room wall, where Ms. Hardaway hit her head on the wall.” She “stated her head still hurts because of hitting the wall” and maintained that she felt her life was in danger.
Mario’s lawyer hinted at the time that Hardaway’s substance-abuse issues may have played a part in the incident. “This is an unfortunate incident between a loving son and a mother who continues to struggle with a devastating addiction,” lawyer William “Hassan” Murphy III said. “Anyone who has waged the battle to save loved ones from the forces of drugs knows the irrational behavior that almost always accompanies their actions. Despite the allegations, Mario remains committed to supporting his mother.”
Reacting to the dropped charges, Murphy said on Wednesday that it was clear from the beginning that Mario had never assaulted Hardaway and that the singer “remains committed to helping his mother battle her addiction.”