- David Steven Bell, 51, was arrested on Saturday on a charge of assaulting a child under the age of 12.
- A video surfaced over the weekend that appears to show Bell pushing and then punching an 11-year-old black girl in the face outside the Asheville Mall in North Carolina.
- Following the incident, two other 13-year-old girls came forward and said Bell had pushed them in the altercation as well.
A video of a middle-aged white man punching an 11-year-old black girl in the face has sparked outrage online.
The 40-second clip, also posted by Fox 8, appears to show an altercation outside the Asheville Mall in North Carolina on Saturday night.
It’s unclear what sparked the fight, but the video shows the girl speaking to the man and him pushing her away. The shove causes her to take several steps back, and she responds by charging back at him. Then he punches her in the face, causing her to fall to the ground, where she remains motionless for the rest of the clip.
Asheville Police later identified the man as 51-year-old David Steven Bell. In the incident report, it’s noted that Bell is 6-foot-5-inches tall and 250 pounds.
An off-duty police officer arrested Bell, and he was later charged with assaulting a child under the age of 12, which is a misdemeanour, according to arrest warrants obtained by the Citizen Times.
Following his arrest, two 13-year-old girls went to the Buncombe County Magistrate’s Office and said Bell had pushed them as well during the fight.
Police spokesperson Christina Hallingse told the Citizen Times on Monday that Bell received two additional charges of assault on a female in connection to these claims. Those charges are misdemeanours as well.
Bell is due in court on February 5.
We are aware of the videos circulating on social media. The @AshevillePolice responded immediately and the situation was diffused. An arrest has been made. Please contact the Asheville Police Department with further questions.
— Asheville Mall (@AshevilleMall) January 13, 2019
Asheville Mall spokesperson Catharine Wells said in an email to the Citizen Times that the mall’s parent company, CBL Properties, is reviewing the incident.
She said that the mall has “a number of security measures in place” to protect visitors and that “all” illegal activity is banned on the premises.
“Some measures are visible to the public and others are not,” she said. “In addition to maintaining a full-time professional security team, we partner with the Asheville Police Department and hire off-duty officers to patrol the interior and exterior of the property.”
Warning: white man punches young black child. Damn him. https://t.co/6prU7ELsWm
— Patricia Ann Kopp ???? ????????????❗️ (@mvgal92691) January 14, 2019
As a grown MAN more than twice the size of the 11 yr old child he assaulted, he could have easily walked away. It was the easier choice, yet he decided to engage and become violent. Why? Because he thought he could get away with it. #WhitePrivilege https://t.co/h0qGE3G7E0
— Sonseray Talbot-Reed (@sonseray125) January 15, 2019
This man hit this unruly child with a full fisted left hook that put her on the ground after he pushed her two handed in the chest. Why didn’t he just walk away? Why engage? Why not call professionals? https://t.co/SzhiXxrDVY
— Kathy White (@LovieW4grands) January 15, 2019
Many said the man could have easily walked away from the girl, who did not appear to be a physical threat to him.
Other commentators thought it was suspect that the man was only charged with a misdemeanour for something they thought was a more serious crime.
INSIDER reached out to Bell for comment on Tuesday but did not receive a response.
- Read more:
- Independent autopsy shows the black man a cop killed at an Alabama mall was shot in the back after the officer mistook him for a gunman
- Grand jury indicts Dallas cop who shot her black neighbour to death in his apartment
- Charlotte Police are trying to charge a woman dubbed ‘SouthPark Susan’ who was filmed harassing her black neighbours – but they can’t find her
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