Back in December, both Keyon Harrold and his son—as detailed in a press release from attorney Ben Crump that was shared ahead of the lawsuit’s announcement on Tuesday—were racially profiled in an Arlo hotel in Manhattan by Ponsetto, who falsely accused the teen of stealing her phone and physically attacked him.
The suit, per a regional CBS report, was filed on Wednesday. On the same day, Crump—alongside co-counsel Paul Napoli, Keyon Harrold Jr.’s family, the Color of Change nonprofit, and others—held a press conference during which the city was challenged to acknowledge what they argue is a violation of the New York City Human Rights Law.
22-year-old Miya Ponsetto—who was dubbed “SoHo Karen” after footage of the incident went viral last year—was charged in January with attempted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and two counts of attempted assault. The new civil suit—per a separate report from TMZ—alleges assault and battery, false imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress, and additional losses.
Reached for comment by Complex, Paul D’Emilia—an attorney representing Ponsetto—said his client had not been informed of any pending civil lawsuit.
Complex also reached out to reps for Crump and Napoli, who are helping represent Keyon Harrold Jr.’s family in the civil suit, for additional comment.
In a statement provided to Complex, Napoli said, “The New York City Human Rights Law was designed to make sure establishments such as the Arlo do not discriminate towards guests based upon their race. The Arlo picked upon Keyon Jr. based upon his race, and for no other legitimate reason. The Human Rights Law allows for a private citizen action against the Arlo for operating in NYC in violation of these laws.”
Earlier this year, Ponsetto—wearing a “Daddy” hat—questioned how “one girl accusing a guy about a phone” was a crime during an interview with Gayle King. She was widely criticized after the interview aired.