A 51-year-old man is accused of assaulting an 11-year-old girl outside a US shopping mall.
David Steven Bell, of Black Mountain, North Carolina was caught on video pushing and punching the victim on Saturday outside the Asheville Mall, Fox News reports.
Video of the assault captured on a mobile phone and shared widely on social media shows Bell arguing with a group of young girls.
After one appears to shove him, Bell delivers a left hook to the child’s face.
Her body falls quickly to the ground, her head slamming on the concrete as horrified onlookers watch in disbelief.
Bell was arrested by an off-duty officer and charged with assault on a child under the age of 12, a misdemeanour offence.
He was also charged with two other counts of assault on a female after two 13-year-old girls also said Bell pushed them.
Bell is listed in an incident report as being six feet, five inches tall and weighing 113 kilos.
The exact circumstances of what led up to the assault remain uncertain.
North Carolina is a ‘stand-your-ground’ state, which gives a person the legal right to defend one’s self against a perceived threat, using lethal force if necessary. This is unlike other some other US states, including New York State, where a person has a duty to retreat from a threat in public if possible.
Bell has not responded to a request for a comment, local newspaper the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.
This article originally appeared on Fox Newsand has been republished with permission.