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Brute arrested for punching 11-year-old girl in the face

Brute arrested for punching 11-year-old girl in the face

A burly, 250-pound North Carolina man was arrested after video showed him punching an 11-year-old girl in the face, sending her to the ground with a brutal left hook, video shows.

David Steven Bell, 51, of Black Mountain, attacked the victim after a throng of young girls surrounded him outside the Asheville Mall on Saturday, when the 6-foot-5 man shoved one of them during a heated exchange, video shows.

The girl raised her hands and ran back toward Bell – who then decked her, sending her to the ground in an instant. The other young girls with the victim, as well as other witnesses, began screaming as the brief recording ended while some of them ran back inside the mall.

David Steven BellAsheville Police Department

Bell, who did not return a request seeking comment Tuesday, was booked on three charges, including assault on a child under the age of 12 for punching the 11-year-old girl, according to arrest warrants obtained Monday by the Asheville Citizen Times.

Bell is also facing two counts of assault on a female after two 13-year-old girls in the crowd later told police that he shoved them during the altercation as well, a police spokeswoman told the newspaper.

The condition of the 11-year-old girl – who was not named – remains unclear. Attempts by the Citizen Times to reach her relatives or someone to speak on her behalf were unsuccessful. Two representatives for the 13-year-old girls, meanwhile, declined to comment, the newspaper reports.

A mall spokeswoman said the incident is being reviewed to determine if adjustments are needed to the facility’s security protocols.

“Some measures are visible to the public and others are not,” spokeswoman Catharine Wells 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.”

It wasn’t clear what immediately preceded the confrontation, but some on social media took exception to the fact that Bell was charged with misdemeanor offenses.

“Mall cops hardly took the thing seriously and local police charged the man with a damn misdemeanor,” one woman wrote. “He’s already out. A misdemeanor. I’m furious.”

Another comment noted that Bell could’ve “easily killed” the girl with the brutal left-handed blow.

“This is disgusting,” one comment read. “Who in their right mind finds it okay to punch an eleven year old girl? Especially being as large as he is. It saddens me that this hatred is in a town that I hold dear to my heart and has always had such a peaceful environment.”

Bell is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 5, court records show. It was unclear if he had hired an attorney.