The woman who wrongly accused a Black teen for stealing her phone at a New York City hotel last year is facing charges for a hate crime.
Miya Ponsetto, the 22-year old California woman dubbed “SoHo Karen” after she falsely accused a black teen of stealing her phone and then grabbed him, has been charged with a hate crime https://t.co/TLbe6N9QhT
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) July 1, 2021
Miya Ponsetto was arraigned in court in Manhattan on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges including unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Ponsetto who lives in California, was seen in a viral video lunging at, tackled and shouting that the 14-year-old son of jazz musician Keyon Harold had stolen her phone.
The incident took place Dec. 26 in the lobby of Arlo Soho, a swanky, boutique hotel where Harlod and his son were guests.
Ponsetto’s phone was later found in an Uber vehicle, that the driver eventually returned to her.
Earlier this year, she was charged with attemted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child and two counts of attempted assault.
Hotel security camera footage later showed a 10-secon clip where Ponsetto appears to put her hands around the teenage boy in an attempt to tackle him to the ground.
Ventura County officers coordinated with NYPD to arrest Ponsetto on a fugitive warrant in front of her home in Piru, California, in January. Officers forcibly removed Ponsetto from vehicle, saying she resisted arrest.
Ponsetto denied any racial animus as a motivation for the incident during an interview with CBS “This Morning” host Gayle King in January.
The Harrold family filed a civil lawsuit against Ponsetto, the Arlo hotel and the hotel manager, alleging violations to New York State’s human rights laws, assault and infliction of emotional distress. They are represented by civil rights attorney Ben Crump.