'SoHo' Karen Arrested After Falsely Accusing Black Teen of Stealing Her Phone (UPDATE)

SoHo 'Karen' Miya Ponsetto has been arrested after video shared by jazz musician Keyon Harrold showed the woman attacking his son, a Black teen.


Police handcuffs,shackle - stock photo


UPDATED 1/7/21, 11:31 p.m. ET: The woman accused of attacking Keyon Harrold's 14-year-old son has been arrested.

TMZ and the New York Post report Miya Ponsetto, aka "SoHo Karen," was taken into custody Thursday in Southern California, more than a week after she allegedly assaulted the teenage boy at an NYC hotel.

Law enforcement sources say officers attempted to pull the 22-year-old over three blocks away from her house, but she refused to stop the car until she reached her driveway. Once she arrived at her home, Ponsetto allegedly wouldn't get out of the vehicle, prompting officers to pull her out. TMZ reports Ponsetta tried to slam the car door on an officer's leg as they attempted to detain her. The woman is expected to be charged with attempted robbery and possibly resisting arrest.

Ponsetta, who is being held without bond, will be extradited to New York.

"Miya is young, She let her emotions get the best of her," the woman's attorney, Sharen Ghatan, told NBC News this week. "That phone could have been in hand of 90-year-old grandma, an Asian person ... someone Black or blue. It wasn’t a race related issue. Things took a life of their own."

UPDATED 12/30, 9:20 p.m. ET: The woman who falsely accused Keyon Harrold's son of stealing her phone is now facing possible criminal charges.

Just days after the incident took place, the New York Police Department told CNN that a harassment complaint against the unidentified woman has been filed. Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said investigators have reviewed surveillance footage that showed the woman, who was reportedly from out of state, initiate the argument before attacking the "teenager by grabbing for his phone, grabbing his leg, and trying to tackle him."

Harrison said investigators may pursue criminal charges against the woman; those would include assault and possible attempted robbery.

On Wednesday, Harrold held a news conference outside New York City Hall, where he was joined by the Rev. Al Sharpton and civil rights attorney Ben Crump. The musician spoke about being racially profiled in the past and acknowledged that if it wasn't for his fame, the incident would've never received national attention.

"I want my son to grow up whole. That's all we want. ... I come from Ferguson and this has been my passport to the world," he said. "And I can't even come downstairs in New York City ... and just go get brunch without being attacked and wrongfully accused of something."

The woman who is accused of assaulting the Harrold's son has denied the allegations, insisting it was her who was attacked. She said she is willing to cooperate with authorities and said admitted she was concerned about being charged.

"Of course I worry. That's not who I am," she said. "I actually ... try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing."

See the original story below.

Jazz musician Keyon Harrold shared a video on Instagram documenting a personal incident of racial violence against his family, after a woman falsely accused his teen son of stealing her iPhone. 

The trumpeter, who has performed alongside artists like Beyoncé, was with his 14-year-old son in the lobby of the Arlo hotel in New York City when they were accosted by a woman who claimed the younger Harrold stole her phone. 

The father and son, who are both Black, were subsequently approached by a manager who asked to see the teen’s phone on behalf of the belligerent woman.

"Are you kidding me? You feel like there's only one iPhone made in the world?" Harrold is heard asking the woman in a one-minute video he shared online.

The elder Harrold then explained to the manager that he and his son were hotel guests and had just come down the elevator.  “You're not helping, what you're being is disrespectful,” he said to the manager. “My son has nothing to do with her." 

As they attempt to leave, the woman lunges toward them. In his caption, Harrold claims the woman scratched him and "tackled and grabbed" his son. According to CBS, an Uber driver later returned the woman’s phone. 

“Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad,” Harrold wrote. “Then... her phone was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident. No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me.”

Arlo Hotels later released a statement apologizing for the "recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel."

"No Arlo guest – or any person – should be subject to this kind of behavior," the statement read. "We want to apologize to Mr. Harrold and his son for this inexcusable experience, and have reached out to them directly to express our sincere regret and to offer help in dealing with the traumatic event."    

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is asking the Manhattan district attorney to bring assault and battery charges against the woman on behalf of the family. 

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