David Steven Bell’s attorney claims he was acting in self-defense when he punched an 11-year-old girl in the face, knocking her to the ground.
On Monday (August 26), the Black Mountain, NC-resident, a 6’5” tall, 250-pound white man, appeared in court and was sentenced with taking a racial justice workshop after he pleaded guilty to the assault on the minor, a Black girl. Bell suffers from PTSD and a traumatic brain injury, according to his attorney, Andy Banzhoff.
“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 told reporters in January shortly after the incident occurred.
It all went down at a local mall when, according to Bell, a large group of young girls surrounded him outside and were “threatening” in nature.
He said they targeted him because he came to the defense of a woman inside the mall bookstore and claims the group was harassing the woman.
Shortly after the incident occurred, Bell told an Asheville police officer about it and later pled guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault on a child under 12 and one count of assault on a female.
But after his release from two days in jail in January following the incident, Bell joked about it on his now-deleted Facebook page.
“Have you ever noticed? In every group of friends.. The shortest one is the craziest,” the married piano teacher and father of two wrote, quoting actor Zach Galifianakis.
Bell received one 60-day suspended sentence, of which he gets two days credit for time served, and unsupervised probation for 12 months.
Additionally, he must participate in a racial justice workshop, anger management counseling, community service, and pay court costs.
The third charge Bell faced for alleged assault on a female was dropped.
After the verdict, the Buncombe County District Attorney tweeted, “After multiple unsuccessful efforts to subpoena and contact the victim in that case, the State entered a dismissal.”
(Photo: Instagram/Asheville Police)