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(Asheville Police Department)

A 51-year-old white male from Black Mountain, North Carolina, has gone viral in a disturbing video showing him assaulting a 12-year-old Black girl at the Asheville Mall.

David Steven Bell was arrested Saturday after punching the child in the face, sending her to the ground outside the mall. Bell was taken into custody by the Asheville Police Department and charged with assault on a female under the age of 12 and two counts of assault on a female, according to records and the Asheville Citizen-Times. The girl, who has not been identified, declined medical treatment and was not taken to the hospital. Bell, meanwhile, has been released from custody.

Video of the incident was posted on Instagram and Facebook on Saturday and quickly went viral on Sunday. In the video, Bell can be heard yelling to the girls to “break it up.” As other girls yell at him, one can be heard asking, “who is he?” What caused the argument remains unclear but at one point, one girl pushes Bell in the back.

The Asheville Mall said in a statement that the incident remains under investigation.

Journalist and activist Shaun King captioned the above clip of the incident on Instagram: “David Steven Bell, listed as 6 foot 5 inches tall, and 250 pounds, first shoved, then knocked out an 11 year old girl with a closed fist punch right to her face. Mall cops hardly took the thing seriously and local police charged the man with a damn misdemeanor. He’s already out. A misdemeanor. I’m furious.”

User lanreakinola replied: “@shaunking I am totally disgusted and this white man should never have punched the 11yr old girl with that force. On that note, why are our black children going out in public acting like they have no home training, disrespectful and unruly? What would have made her be in his face and physically charged a man (black or white) that size? This behavior is unacceptable and it speaks volume on the lack of home training, and decency our children need to emulate in public. The force used was too much but black or white, the man has a right to defend himself too.”

Another IG commenter, user yourmindmatters, wrote: “Everyone out there should have tore his azz up. Straight up. I don’t care what they had to use but his head should have got cracked. It’s a misdemeanor because she’s black and he’s white; had it been the other way around the black man would have gotten shot on site and that’s a fact. This world is just jacked up……”

According to heavy.com, after his arrest, Bell deleted a Facebook page for his piano teaching business.

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