Woman Who Tackled Black Teen at Soho Hotel Is Charged with Hate Crime

A California lady who falsely accused a youngster of stealing her telephone after which attacked him at a New York City resort was charged with a hate crime on Wednesday.

Miya Ponsetto, 22, pleaded not responsible to 2 counts of second-degree illegal imprisonment as a hate crime, one depend of second-degree aggravated harassment and one depend of endangering the welfare of a kid. She was arraigned in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan over video name.

Ms. Ponsetto gained widespread consideration after a video was launched of her confronting Keyon Harrold Jr., then 14, within the foyer of the Arlo Hotel in SoHo in December.

Miya Ponsetto.Credit…Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, through Associated Press

In the video, which was recorded by Keyon’s father, the distinguished jazz musician Keyon Harrold, Ms. Ponsetto, who’s of Puerto Rican and Vietnamese descent, tackles the teenager, who’s Black, after accusing him of stealing her telephone.

She will be heard yelling within the video, “No, I’m not letting him walk away with my phone!”

The telephone was later discovered and returned by an Uber driver.

Ms. Ponsetto had already been charged with tried theft, grand larceny, appearing in a fashion injurious to a baby and tried assault earlier this 12 months, however the workplace of Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district lawyer, introduced further prices, together with hate crimes prices, on Wednesday.

“We intend on fighting this very vigorously, especially in the wake of the embellished charges District Attorney Vance has charged Miya Ponsetto with,” Ms. Ponsetto’s lawyer, Paul D’Emilia, mentioned.

Mr. Harrold mentioned his household was transferring ahead with a lawsuit towards the Arlo Hotel and Ms. Ponsetto.

“I’m feeling hopeful,” he mentioned in an interview on Thursday. “Obviously as Black people, it’s hard to believe in a system and believe that the system will work for me and for my family. But to see that there’s work being done to change things is something so positive.”

Mr. Harrold mentioned he believed the resort had “empowered” Ms. Ponsetto and that it had accomplished nothing to guard his son. A consultant for the resort didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

He mentioned that he was nonetheless baffled day that was meant to be a enjoyable father-and-son outing had been derailed.

“Our life changed because somebody having the entitlement and idea that just because of the way my son looked he was the one who stole her property, which is so ridiculous,” Mr. Harrold mentioned. “It’s been a couple of months, but every time I talk about it, it brings back all kinds of emotions — like the fear that if I wasn’t there to protect my son, what could have happened?”

Mr. Harrold mentioned he hoped his son’s encounter with Ms. Ponsetto highlighted how widespread it’s for Black folks to be harassed merely for current in areas that others imagine they shouldn’t be in.

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Black Teenager Falsely Accused of Cellphone Theft in SoHo Hotel

A girl will be seen yelling at the 14-year-old in video captured at the Arlo Hotel in New York City on Saturday by his father, the jazz musician Keyon Harrold. Mr. Harrold mentioned her telephone was later present in an Uber.

Hotel supervisor: “Please.” Woman: “Show me the phone.” Teen: “This is my phone.” Harrold: “You don’t have to explain nothing to her.” Woman: “Take the case off. That’s mine. Literally, give it back.” Harrold: “Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone made in the world?” “No, OK, then show me.” “No, get a life!” “Over there.” Manager: “What’s on your background?” Harrold: “You better go use Find My iPhone. Go do that.” “Yeah, Find My iPhone is on that right now.” “No, no you can’t. No.” “I’m the manager of the hotel.” Harrold: “I don’t care. This is my son.” “Hey.” “Didn’t you see me just come downstairs out of the [expletive] elevator?” “I’m trying to help.” “No, but you’re not helping. “I am.” “What you’re being is disrespectful.” Manager: “No, I’m trying to settle this situation.” “My son has nothing to do with her.” Woman: “No, yeah, but he has my phone. Then show me the proof. No, he’s not leaving. Show me the proof.” “Are you kidding me? You better get on. Let’s go, Keyon.” Woman: “I’m sorry.” Harrold: “Better get on.” “We have your? What, you see two Black people?” “No, I’m not letting him walk away with my phone!” Manager: “Please don’t fight, don’t fight.” “Better get on somewhere lady.” “No, please get my phone back. I cannot not have my phone!”

A girl will be seen yelling at the 14-year-old in video captured at the Arlo Hotel in New York City on Saturday by his father, the jazz musician Keyon Harrold. Mr. Harrold mentioned her telephone was later present in an Uber.CreditCredit…Keyon Harrold

“When people are falsely accused, it powers the system of injustice and powers the system of inequality,” he mentioned. “And it marginalizes people of color disproportionately.”

Ms. Ponsetto discovered herself in additional sizzling water after she was interviewed by Gayle King on “CBS This Morning” and the interview went viral earlier this 12 months.

Ms. Ponsetto downplayed her actions through the interview, and prompt that she couldn’t be racist as a result of she was a lady of shade. She even lifted her hand as much as silence Ms. King at one level, saying “enough.”

“It didn’t seem like my accusations bothered the son and father because they were enjoying a nice meal after this whole encounter,” she mentioned within the interview.

She was arrested in connection with the resort episode hours later.

Ms. Ponsetto had additionally confronted prices in unrelated circumstances in California, the place she was accused of public intoxication, driving with a suspended license and moving into altercations with her mom and law enforcement officials.

During Wednesday’s listening to, Ms. Ponsetto, who stays underneath court-supervised launch in California, spoke quietly and mentioned little. Her subsequent courtroom look is about for Oct. 20.

Ashley Wong and Mihir Zaveri contributed reporting.