A North Carolina man who was arrested in January for brutally punching an 11-year-old black girl has been convicted of two misdemeanors.
David Steven Bell pleaded guilty of misdemeanor assault on a child under the age of 12, as well as one misdemeanor count of assault on a female for pushing a 13-year-old girl during the incident, according to the Buncombe County Clerk’s office. A second misdemeanor charge for pushing another 13-year-old girl was dismissed due to difficulties contacting the victim, according to District Attorney Todd Williams.
In January, The Root reported that Bell, 51, pushed and punched an 11-year-old-girl in the face outside of the Asheville Mall in Asheville, N.C. He is listed as 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds in an incident report taken at the scene.
According to Williams, Bell received a 60-day suspended sentence and has been placed on unsupervised probation for the next 12 months. Additionally, Bell will be required to complete anger management counseling and participate in a racial justice workshop within the next 90 days. He will also be responsible for paying a court fee of less than $200.
In the immediate aftermath of the assault, Asheville attorney Andy Banzhoff tried his best to garner sympathy for Bell by asserting that he suffers from both post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. However, that’s no excuse for what transpired. And if anything, the lack of severe punishment for assailing a child serves as the latest example of America’s continued disregard for black life.