Soho Karen Miya Ponsetto charged w/ 4 felonies set for NYC extradition in incident involving assault on black teen who she falsely accused of stealing her iPhone at NYC hotel.
Police charged a woman caught on video falsely accusing a Black teen of stealing her cellphone and tackling him in the lobby of a New York City hotel with four felony charges, according to the NYPD.
Miya Ponsetto, 22, was charged with attempted robbery, grand larceny, two counts of attempted assault and acting in a manner injurious to a child, police said.
Ponsetto was arrested Thursday in California and appeared for hearing Friday during which she agreed to be extradited to New York. She was in NYPD custody Saturday morning.
NYPD detectives flew out to California earlier this week with a warrant for Ponsetto’s arrest following days of intense media coverage of the fracas at the hotel and demands by the teen’s family that the woman face criminal charges.
According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, deputies tried to pull Ponsetto over for a traffic stop near her Simi Valley home Thursday, but she did not stop until reaching her residence, where she refused to get out of the car.
Deputies then had to physically pull Ponsetto from the vehicle, officials said. TMZ reported that amid the struggle, she attempted to slam the car door on a deputy’s leg.
Ponsetto was arrested for a fugitive warrant and jailed in Ventura County without bail.
She also faces likely additional charges for resisting arrest.
An attorney for Ponsetto said her client is ’emotionally unwell’ and remorseful for her Dec. 26 conflict with 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo.
The 22-year-old woman caught on camera allegedly physically attacking a 14-year-old Black teen and falsely accusing him of stealing her phone was arrested in California.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 8, 2021
Racial profiling & white privilege
The teen’s father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, recorded the confrontation and put the video online. Released hotel video also showed Ponsetto physically assaulting the teen boy after Ponsetto previously insisted she was ‘the real victim.’
Ponsetto’s missing phone had actually been left in an Uber and was returned by the driver shortly afterward, Keyon Harrold has said.
The altercation drew comparisons to cases like that of Amy Cooper aka Central Park Karen which involved a white woman who was charged with filing a false report for calling 911 and saying she was being threatened by “an African American man” during a dispute in Central Park in May.
In an interview with CBS’s Gayle King a day before her arrest, Ponsetto denied that racism was a factor in the December attack and apologized for making the teen feel ‘inferior’. Pressed if she understood the repercussions of her actions, the 22 year old demanded King desist, telling her ‘enough.’
Ponsetto will be held in the Ventura County Jail until her date of extradition from California is finalized.