A North Carolina man was arrested after police say he pushed and assaulted a girl in front of a mall.
Clip of the incident went viral online, which shows a man pushing a small black girl, and when she went towards him, he pulled back his fist and punched her in the face.
David Stephen Bell, 51, was arrested by an off-duty officer and charged with assault of a female under 12-years-old and two counts of assault on a female, an Asheville Police Department spokesperson told Newsweek.
In the video, a group of girls surrounded the Black Mountain man, shouting at each other. At one point the man approached the group and, a short time later, he spoke to the girl. As she approached him, he pushed the girl. She apprached him again and he punched her in the face. knocking her to the ground. The police are investigating the incident to determine how the confrontation began.
Online jail records said Bell is 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighed 250 pounds.
The Asheville Citizen Times reported that the victims involved in the altercation did not seek medical attention.
Asheville Mall tweeted about the incident, writing:
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.
Bell, who is reportedly a piano teacher and who deleted his Facebook page following this incident, is due in court on 5 February.
Asheville Police Department has been contacted for comment.