A 51-year-old man from the American state of North Carolina was arrested on Saturday after he hit a teenage girl in the face. The incident was recorded on video, which also shows how a group of teenagers first seems to bother the man. The fifties would be free again by now.
On Saturday night David Steven Bell got a stick with a group of teenage girls at a shopping centre in Asheville. The man, accompanied by his wife and daughter, was surrounded by the teenagers, as can be seen on video images. One of them gives him a push, after which he pushes her back firmly. Then the girl steps back on him and he punches her in the face. She immediately falls to the ground.
Some bystanders start calling and fleeing. According to American media, teenagers are eleven to thirteen years old.
The man was immediately arrested by a policeman who happened to be on the spot. He was accused of aggression against a child under the age of twelve. Two other thirteen-year-old girls later told the police that he had also given them a push, which resulted in two additional charges. The man is expected in court at the beginning of February, but in the meantime, he would be at liberty.
The video of the incident was shared thousands of times on various social media and creates heated online discussions. Some users condemn the aggression of the man, although some also defend his behaviour. According to them, he would have acted solely out of self-defence after he himself was attacked by the teenagers. “The man clearly protects his wife and child in the video”, it sounds, among other things.
In general, the behaviour of the man is maligned. “I cannot think of a situation that would justify striking a child that way. They were challenging him for one reason or another, but he is the adult,” writes a user.