UPSET teen Keyon Harrold Jr is seeking therapy and asking “why me” after “Soho Karen” blamed him for a phone theft in a shocking viral video.
Keyon Harrold and his son who says the teenager was assaulted by ‘SoHo Karen’
Ponsetto is a 22-year-old former cheerleaderCredit: Instagram
Police and the district attorney’s office in NYC have been investigating the confrontation in which a white woman falsely accused a black teen of stealing her iPhone in the lobby of an upscale hotel.
The New York Police Department has been probing a harassment complaint stemming from the December 26 incident inside the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
Jazz musician Keyon Harrold recorded a video that he posted on Instagram, of the young woman – since revealed as Miya Ponsettoa – wrongly accusing his 14-year-old son of stealing her phone.
The woman is captured screaming at Harrold’s son and demanding that the hotel manager take the teen’s phone away from him.
“Take the case off that’s mine, literally get it back,” Ponsetto tells the manager.
Harrold replies: “You think there’s only one iPhone made in the world?”
Since news broke of the upsetting incident, Keyon Harrold told TMZ that he and his ex-wife, Kat, have been speaking with therapists and want their son Keyon Jr to receive trauma therapy soon.
The teen asked his dad “why me?” after being targeted by Ponsetto.
Keyon told the website: “I have tried to instil dignity in my son. I’m trying to build his ego, because for so long egos of black men have been shattered.”
As a result of the incident, the teen “wonders if he’s good enough to own an iPhone, or whether he’s out of place at a nice hotel”, his dad explained.
What makes matters worse is that both parents travel a lot because of their busy music careers – which means their son is worried about being targeted again in other hotels.
The traumatized teen has already spoken out about being treated as if he were a criminal.
Harrold is a Grammy Award-winning trumpet player who has played with artists including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z.
The alleged ‘SoHo Karen’ was recently identified as 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto by policeCredit: Instagram/Keyon Harrold
The incident was filmed inside Arlo HotelCredit: Instagram
According to TMZ, Miya Ponsetto is also accused of committing a similar assault in February 2020, when she allegedly attacked a police officer.
The former cheerleader is now potentially facing assault and attempted robbery charges in NYC, reports said.
She was previously arrested in Beverly Hills police back in February for being drunk in public, according to an online docket for the Los Angeles Airport Courthouse cited by the Daily Mail.
Her mom, Nicole, was also reportedly a co-defendant booked on the same charge plus assaulting a police officer.
A hearing on that case is scheduled for January 28.
Ponsetto was arrested again in May on four DUI counts, according to the Mail, and pleaded guilty in September with a sentencing hearing set for January 14.
Keyon Harrold is a Grammy Award-winning trumpet playerCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Keyon Harrold (right) attends Global Citizen Week: The Spirit Of A Movement at Riverside Church in 2018, New York CityCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Keyon Harrold’s attorney called for the woman to be charged with assault and batteryCredit: Twitter
In the December 2020 incident, Harrold and his son were trying to walk away in Arlo Hotel, when the woman allegedly lunged at them.
After a scuffle, she is seen on the ground.
“No, please get my phone back,” the woman pleads to the manager, who helps her up.
Harrold wrote on Instagram that the hotel had informed him an Uber driver dropped off the woman’s phone shortly after the confrontation.
“No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me. No apologies from the establishment,” an unimpressed Harrold revealed afterwards.
‘SoHo Karen’ tackled the black teen after falsely accusing him of stealing her phoneCredit: Instagram
Ponsetto allegedly dragged Keyon Harrold Jr, 14, to the floor in the lobbyCredit: Instagram
The woman allegedly lunged at Keyon Harrold and his sonCredit: Instagram/Keyon Harrold
“This s*** happens so often. It needs to stop!!!”
Harrold’s video went viral at the end of December 2020, and the woman was dubbed a “Karen,” the name given to a white woman who is accused of using racial privilege over others.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office told New York Magazine that it is also investigating the incident.
Harrold’s attorney, Ben Crump, tweeted that they want the district attorney’s office to press assault and battery charges.
An Uber driver dropped off an iPhone shortly after the confrontation Credit: Instagram/Keyon Harrold
“Join us in sending a clear message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable,” Crump wrote.
“Email Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr. and urge him to charge the woman who attacked Keyon Harrold Jr.”
The NYPD has released more footage showing her running at the 14-year-old as she grabbed at his waist.
It’s believed Ponsetto was once an aspiring actress.
According to her AskFM account she has anger issues and that she considers herself the “least judgmental person probably ever.”
According to one post on her AskFM, she identifies as “Italian, Puerto Rican, Greek and Vietnamese”. However, in her profile on casting and audition website Explore Talent, she identifies only as Caucasian.