Ponsetto was arrested during a traffic stop and had to be forcibly removed from her car.

Por Alma Sacasa
Enero 11, 2021

Last week, Miya Ponsetto, the woman who wrongly accused 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her iPhone at a Manhattan hotel, was arrested. A California resident, Ponsetto was arrested in Ventura County and extradited to New York. She is facing several charges including "acting in a manner injurious to a child," an NYPD spokesperson told Insider in a statement. 

Ponsetto, who was nicknamed "Soho Karen," was also charged with attempted robbery, grand larceny, and two counts of attempted assault.

Credit: Ventura County Shariff’s Office via Getty Images

The incident occurred last year at Arlo Hotel in New York City and was captured on video by the teenager's father, Keyon Harrold, who has said his son was racially profiled and was assaulted during the confrontation. The viral video showed the 22-year-old telling the hotel management that the teen had her cell phone.

"The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast," Harrold captioned the video. "This person quote on quote 'lost' her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which merely ridiculous."

Before her arrest, Ponsetto gave an exclusive interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning. "I was approaching the people exiting the hotel," Ponsetto said in the interview. "Because in my mind anybody exiting ... might be the one that is trying to steal my phone."

"I admit yes, I could have approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that and made him feel ... as if I was like hurting his feelings," she added. "That's not my intention. I consider myself to be super sweet."

In response to the charges, Ponsetto's attorney, Sharen Ghatan, called her client "emotionally unwell" and expressed concern for Ponsetto's erratic behavior. "From what I saw in this interview this is a mental health issue, not a race issue," the attorney told CNN's Brynn Gingras. "The race, color, creed, sex made no difference to her. She was on a path and that was it. There might even be a larger issue, a mental health aspect to this and I am unclear if she knows what she is doing or saying."