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Florence man denies smashing rental car after ‘triple-dog-dare’

Mario R. Babbs, of 491 Bridge Road, Apt. #121, pleaded not guilty before Judge W. Michael Goggins to charges of malicious destruction of a motor vehicle and two counts of malicious destruction of property valued under $250.

Bail for Babbs was set at $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety with the conditions he abide by any restraining orders in place, avoid illegal drugs and submit to random screenings.

Babbs told police he and his girlfriend were driving in the rental car and had gotten into an argument early Friday morning, in part about his drug use, and in part because Babbs wanted to be reimbursed for the cost of the rental.

According to court files, Babbs told police he had developed a problem with crack cocaine and had used some about 4:30 that morning.

Babbs’ girlfriend drove them back to her apartment, went back inside and refused to come to the door when Babbs rang the buzzer shortly before 9 a.m.

The woman’s roommate answered the buzzer and told Babbs he was not coming up to the apartment and “triple-dog dared” him to touch the rental car, according to court records.

Babbs told police he “lost control” over the dare comment and picked up a nearby metal bicycle frame and began smashing out all but the rear window of the car and broke the driver’s-side mirror, according to court files.

Babbs was also charged with smashing a $200 cell phone belonging to his girlfriend and with damaging the bicycle itself, valued at about $150, according to court records.

Babbs is due back in court May 2 for a pre-trial hearing.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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