A white North Carolina man has been charged with several counts of assault after cellphone video of him punching a Black preteen girl to the ground outside of a mall on Saturday night surfaced. 

In the now-viral video, David Steven Bell, 51, barks at a group of teenage girls outside of the Asheville Mall, yelling at them to "break it up." As Bell directs his attention elsewhere, an unidentified teen shoves him in the back. The girl walks toward Bell again, and he quickly pushes her into a metal pole. As the girl approaches him one more time, Bell clenches his fist and hits the adolescent, knocking her out cold.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports an off-duty deputy detained Bell shortly after the incident. He was hit with class A1 misdemeanor charges, assault on a woman 12 years of age and under and two counts of assault on a woman. The victim refused medical attention and was not transported to a local hospital.

On its official Facebook page, the Asheville Mall released a statement addressing the video and confirmed that "an arrest has been made."



Activist and reporter Shaun King reports Bell was released from custody shortly after being booked. On Instagram King wrote, "Local police charged the man with a damn misdemeanor. He’s already out. A misdemeanor. I’m furious."



Heavy reports Bell was released from jail early Sunday morning. If found guilty, the piano teacher could serve a 150-day sentence for each of the charges he faces. 


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