White Man in North Carolina Punches Black Child in the Face, Charged With Assault

David Steven Bell, a 51-year-old white man at the Asheville Mall in Asheville, N.C., punched a Black girl in the face over the weekend. He was charged Saturday night with assault of a female under the age of 12. He could face up to 450 days in jail, if convicted.

Police spokeswoman Christina Hallingse said that an off-duty officer, who was already at the mall, arrested Bell after the incident.

Bell was released from the Buncombe County jail just after 1 a.m. Sunday, records show. There is no word on what bail was required for his release and when he will appear in
court.


A bystander captured the incident on video, which has gone viral.

Bell is a piano teacher from Black Mountain, N.C., who is married with a 20-year-old son and a teenage daughter. His piano teaching Facebook page has since been pulled down. Bell’s wife, Ann Bell, appears to be in the video standing off to the side watching her husband confront the groups of girls and, subsequently, hit the child.

Some felt she wasn’t the only person complacent in the situation.

One
comment from a bystander: “Mall cops hardly took the thing seriously.”

The mall wrote on Twitter:

Asheville Police have been under scrutiny for a 2017
incident where a white cop, who stopped a Black man, Johnnie Rush, for jaywalking, ended up choking Rush and beating him. Police released body cam footage to show the beating, and the officer even acknowledged, “I beat the s***t out of his head” to his supervisor.

The officer resigned before being fired for using excessive force. He was charged with felony assault in state court, but federal prosecutors said the “evidence does not give rise to the prosecutable violation of the federal criminal civil rights law.”

In comparison to Bell’s act of violence, just outside of Asheville in Haywood County, a 15-year-old biracial high school student received harsh punishment for defending himself. He was charged in December, initially with a felony, for punching another student in the eye after being bullied and backed into a corner by the student yelling racial slurs. The bully was sent home, while the biracial teen was sent to juvenile detention.

The charge was eventually changed from felony to assault, but for standing his ground against a racist bully, the biracial teen was still put in jail for
two days. The bully, among other racial slurs, said the biracial kid should be hanged like an Alabama wind chime.

Related Story: Update: White Man Who Assaulted 11-Year-Old Black Girl is Due in Court Next Month

Reader Question: Do you think authorities will take this assault of a minor case seriously

Latest News

Marriott International Launches “Bridging The Gap” Hotel Development Program

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a Hall of Fame company.   At the 44th Annual NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference, Marriott International announced the launch of “Marriott’s Bridging The Gap,” a multi-year, $50 million development program that aims to address the barriers to entry that historically underrepresented groups…

5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: June 16

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience. 1. Buffalo Supermarket Shooter…