Woman Who Accused Black Teen of Stealing Phone, Arrested in California


A woman who was spotted in a viral video allegedly attacking a Black teenager in New York City who she believed had stolen her phone, was arrested Friday morning in Ventura County, authorities said.

Miya Ponsetto, 22, went viral last week after she was caught on tape attacking a 14-year-old Black teenager named Keyon Harrold Jr, in the lobby of a SoHo hotel after accusing him of stealing her phone. The teen's father recorded the confrontation, which went viral online as another example of someone racially profiling a Black teenager. Ponsetto's phone was later found by the hotel and was not in the teenager's possession.

Before her arrest, Ponsetto, clad in a black 'Daddy' baseball cap and her lawyer at her side, sat down for an interview with CBS's Gayle King to explain her side.

To say the interview did not go well really undersells the six minute segment.

"I admit, yes, I could've approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that," Ponsetto said Friday morning.

Ponsetto, who has become known as "SoHo Karen" online, told King that she considers herself to be "super sweet" and never meant "to like hurt him or his father either."

"What do you think when you look at that video?" King asks Ponsetto at one point. "You're standing there in your leggings and your flip flops and it looks like you're just going nuts, for lack of a better word."

Ponsetto dodges the question, asking King, "Can we move on?" after admitting to having yelled at Harrold.

However, the interview went off the rails after Ponsetto asks King how her actions might be interpreted as racially-motivated.

"So, basically, I'm a 22-year-old girl," she starts. "I don't—racism is—how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime? Where is the context in that? What is the deeper story here?"

King responds by pointing out that Ponsetto is young, but she is 22 and "old enough to know better."

Ponsetto attempts to silence King with her hand, saying, "Alright, Gayle, enough."

Ponsetto's attorney, who was sitting by her side during the entire interview, attempts to get her client to calm down, quietly telling her to stop on multiple occasions.

CBS also shared a statement from the parents of Keyon Harrold Jr., the teenager who was accosted by Ponsetto.

"This is not about an apology from someone who until a few days ago was claiming she did nothing wrong, and in fact alleged Keyon Harrold Sr. had assaulted her. Someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin."

King says more of her interview with Ponsetto is scheduled to be played on Monday.

Photo: Ventura County Sheriff's Department