A man seen on a viral video shoving, then punching a preteen girl to the ground outside a North Carolina mall has been charged with assault.
Off-duty officers arrested David Steven Bell, 51, at the Asheville Mall on Saturday evening where authorities say a fight involving juveniles suddenly broke out, local station News 13 reported.
Bell now faces one count of assault on a female under the age of 12, along with two counts of assault on a female.
Video of the incident, which has been widely circulated on social media, shows a raucous scene outside the mall where a large group of young Black teenagers are gathered. Bell, who is white, is seen standing in the middle of the crowd as the youths shout at him.
At one point, the camera turns away from the scene. One of the girls then shoves Bell in the back. She approaches Bell again and he pushes her. The teen tries approaching a third time, and he punches her in the face, knocking her unconscious.
Asheville Police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse told Atlanta Black Star the incident is still under investigation. She noted that all victims at the time of the incident refused transport to the hospital for treatment.