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Wrightsville's police chief says a Dollar General clerk accused of spanking a customer's son now faces a new charge: cruelty to children.

Emilia Bell was arrested last Thursday and originally charged only with simple battery. That was upgraded over the weekend to aggravated assault after authorities viewed the alleged spanking from a different camera angle.

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Wrightsville Police Chief Paul Sterling said it appeared that Bell struck the boy around 25 times with a belt.

Monday, he told 13WMAZ's Austin Lewis the decision to add a cruelty to children charge was made after consulting with the Johnson County magistrate.

On Monday, 13WMAZ called the clerk's home, and a woman who identified himself as a relative said Bell declined to comment.

The manager at the Dollar General Store has also declined comment.

An incident report says Bell told an officer that she "whipped the child with her belt because he had thrown a battery and a cookie at her."

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