Twenty-two-year-old Miya Ponsetto, who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her cellphone at the Arlo Hotel in New York City, was charged with hate crimes on Wednesday, TMZ reports.
On December 26th, Ponsetto falsely accused the fourteen-year-old son of Grammy-winning musician Keyon Harrold of stealing her phone, while attacking him and tackling him to the ground.
The woman who falsely accused a black teen in New York City of stealing her phone has been arrested. Her name is Miya Ponsetto. She was caught on camera in December yelling and tackling the teen inside the lobby of a luxury hotel. pic.twitter.com/LEHPImrlQE
— The News with Shepard Smith (@thenewsoncnbc) January 9, 2021
Ponsetto has finally been charged with 2 counts of unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and endangering the welfare of a child. She appeared virtually for her arraignment.
She was first arrested on January 8th in California and charged in Manhattan with 2 counts of attempted assault, attempted robbery grand larceny, and endangering the welfare of a child. At the time, Ponsetto wasn't charged with a hate crime but after months of pleading from the Harrold family, this has been added to her charges.
In the original footage that went viral, Harrold recorded Ponsetto yelling at Keyon Jr. and jumping on him as he tells her he didn't steal her phone.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Marquez said during the hearing that a Lyft driver returned the phone in question to the hotel after it had been left in his vehicle by Ponsetto.
She is due to return to court this October. Her attorney, Paul D'Emilia pled not guilty on her behalf. D'Emilia told TMZ that "instead of helping to foster a civil and enlightened resolution to an unfortunate incident between two young people, DA Vance chose a craven and opportunistic path in indicting, with felony hate crime charges."
"The charges alleged are a brazen and clear overreach of the intent of the statute," her attorney said, "In sum, they are absurd and a perversion of our legal system."
Moments after the indictment, Keyon's mother, Katty Rodriguez, Rev. Al Sharpton, and family attorney Ben Crump, reacted to the news, with Crump saying: "Thank goodness Keyon's father was there at the time of the incident... because god knows what would have happened."
After the news broke out on social media, people shared their thoughts...
One Twitter user wrote: "This is America, armed thugs are given the red carpet treatment by police to storm the Capitol, and a black teen is assaulted for having an iPhone. America is essentially over."
While another commented: "This is happening multiple times in all cities every single day! Racism is deeply rooted in America and must be severely condemned."
A third wrote: "If she was asking everyone leaving as she said why wasn't the cops called. This means she was assaulting many other people. Where are these people, why didn't they interview the manager, why would she come back to the hotel, who was she there with they still look like 2 different women."