On Thursday, 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto, was arrested for assaulting and falsely accusing a Black teenager of theft. During a caught-on-camera encounter, the woman stated that the boy stole her cell phone in a New York City hotel.
In a video on his Instagram of Ponsetto, jazz musician Keyon Harrold’s 14-year-old son was accused of stealing her cellphone and lunged at him before falling. Later in an Instagram post, Harrold stated that the cellphone “was magically returned by an Uber driver.”
On Thursday she was arrested in the afternoon in Piru, CA, for a warrant linked to the hotel assault.
Her actions were regarded as “disgusting physical and verbal attack that continues to traumatize our family,” by the boy parents. The act spread widespread outrage.
As per the sheriff’s office statement “Deputies forcibly removed her from the vehicle and arrested her for the outstanding warrant,” the statement read, adding that she is being held without bail. “She will remain in local custody pending an extradition hearing. Detectives from the New York Police Department arrived in Ventura County on Thursday morning to help coordinate the arrest.”
In an interview, Ponsetto asks, “How is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime? Where’s the context in that? What is the deeper story here?”
On social media and other platforms, widespread outrage was seen in reaction to Harrold’s video and actions on the culprit was demanded.
In a Thursday statement sent to NowThis, Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump told, “Individual acts of racism are given power by government agents like police and corporations like Quadrum Hospitality Group, LLC, that own Arlo Hotel, that ratify and proliferate structural racism,”
A statement was also released on Thursday by Harrold and his spouse, Kat Rodriguez, that read, “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 colour of his skin.”
“Miya will be dealt with by law enforcement, and hopefully be charged with the assault of our child. We are not interested in what she has to say, in her feigning remorse, and we certainly will not provide her with a public platform and audience to do as much.”
“Our energy right now is directed at the healing of our son, and in bringing attention to the larger societal issues that led to the disgusting physical and verbal attack that continues to traumatize our family,” they added.