Last Saturday, 51-year-old David Steven Bell, a 250-pound, 6’5 white man, was caught on video attacking an 11-year-old Black girl outside of a North Carolina mall.

Bell’s attorney now says he was only defending himself and suffers from PTSD.

“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,” attorney Andy Banzhoff told The Asheville Citizen-Times.

According to the attorney, as Bell was leaving the mall, he saw a woman being harassed by a “large pack of youths,” and he intervened. Allegedly, Bell was then pushed by one of the pre-teens and retaliated.

“She then got to her feet and aggressively charged in the direction of Mr. Bell,” Banzhoff said. “As she entered Mr. Bell’s personal space, he struck her with his closed fist.”

Bell was arrested and charged with assaulting a child under 12 and two counts of assault on a female.

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