Man Arrested After Video Captured Him Pushing & Punching 11-Year-Old Girl
“His actions were in an effort to defend himself against the perceived threat from a large pack of youth who had trapped and surrounded him,” David Steven Bell's lawyer claimed.
ASHEVILLE, NC — A man found himself under arrest after he slugged an 11-year-old girl in the face and also allegedly pushed two teens outside a North Carolina mall.
At just before 7 P.M. on January 12, David Steven Bell, 51, "observed a large pack of youths harassing a woman” at Barnes & Noble, so he stepped in to help, his Asheville-based attorney, Andy Banzhoff, said in a statement
The six foot, five inch, 250-pound Bell asked staff to call for help while he escorted the woman from the bookstore. Forty seconds of a tense exchange captured on video showed the group of kids encircling Bell, who yelled at them to “break it up.”
A girl then pushed him from behind just before another "stepped towards Bell in an aggressive manner,” the statement noted. He responded by pushing the advancing child to the ground. “She then got to her feet and aggressively charged in the direction of Mr. Bell. As she entered Mr. Bell’s personal space, he struck her with his closed fist.”
After the incident, The Asheville Citizen Times reported Bell flagged down a cop to tell him what happened, and he was arrested.
"His actions were in an effort to defend himself against the perceived threat from a large pack of youth who had trapped and surrounded him," Banzhoff said of what he called an “unfortunate incident.” The lawyer also claimed Bell, a piano teacher and married father of two, had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and a brain injury.
"His actions were not motivated by any animus towards the persons in that group,” the attorney insisted. “Mr. Bell's belief is that all persons are created equal and that we are all children of God.”
Police have charged Bell with assault on a child under the age of 12 and two additional counts of assault on a female after two 13-year-old girls claimed he pushed them. He faces up to 150 days in jail for each of the three misdemeanor charges.
He is due back in court on February 5.