A 51-year-old man was arrested at a mall in North Carolina on Saturday for allegedly punching an 11-year-old girl in the face and assaulting two other teens during an altercation.
David Steven Bell of Black Mountain, North Carolina, has been charged with assault on a child under the age of 12 and two counts of assault on a female, according to a police incident report.
While the Asheville Police Department is still investigating what preceded the incident, a disturbing cellphone video is circulating from a witness who captured the altercation at the Asheville Mall over the weekend.
The video shows a small crowd of young people and onlookers circled around Bell as he and the crowd engage in an indecipherable argument. Seconds later, he’s seen shoving the girl and then punching her in the face.
An off-duty police officer arrested Bell at the scene Saturday. All three victims refused to be taken to the hospital for treatment.
The Asheville Police Department has redacted all names and personal information of the minors to protect their identities during the investigation. According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, two of the victims are 13-year-olds who now have legal representation.
Catharine Wells, an Asheville Mall spokesperson, also told the Citizen-Times that the owners of the mall are reviewing “the incident, response and current protocol,” and will decide if any adjustments should be made.
On Twitter, the mall addressed the incident by saying police responded promptly “and the situation was diffused.”
BuzzFeed News could not immediately reach Bell for comment.