Wednesday, August 17, 2022

US Woman Who Falsely Accused Black Teen Faces Multiple Charges

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ABC News: A California woman faces multiple charges for allegedly falsely accusing a Black teenager of stealing her cellphone and physically attacking him inside a New York City hotel last month.

Miya Ponsetto was charged in Manhattan Saturday with two counts of attempted assault, attempted robbery, grand larceny and endangering the welfare of a child.

Ponsetto, 22, was arrested in her hometown of Piru, California, on Thursday, after fleeing the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department as it tried to make a traffic stop on a fugitive warrant for her arrest, officials said.

Once she stopped in front of a home, she put up a fight and resisted arrest, authorities told ABC News. During a virtual court appearance on Friday, she agreed to be extradited to New York.

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The charges stem from a Dec. 26 incident at the Arlo SoHo Hotel that’s gained national attention.

Keyon Harrold, a Grammy-winning trumpet player, was staying there with his 14-year-old son when he said Ponsetto approached his son in the lobby to accuse him of stealing her phone.

Harrold recorded part of the encounter on his phone and shared the video on social media.

In the video that Harrold recorded, a woman later identified by authorities as Ponsetto could be seen yelling at the teen and lunging at him.

Harrold’s son could also be heard denying that he stole the phone.

Ponsetto’s cellphone was ultimately found by an Uber driver, according to national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Harrold family.

“As this year of racial awareness is drawing to a close, it’s deeply troubling that incidents like this one, in which a Black child is viewed as and treated like a criminal, continue to happen,” Crump said in a statement following the incident.

ABC News was unable to reach Ponsetto following her hearing.

In an interview with “CBS This Morning” that aired Friday, Ponsetto apologized for her actions.

“I don’t feel that that is who I am as a person. I don’t feel like this one mistake does define me,” she said during the interview, which was filmed Thursday before her arrest. “But I do sincerely from the bottom of my heart apologize that if I made the son feel as if I assaulted him or if I hurt his feelings or the father’s feelings.”

Ponsetto’s former attorney, Sharen Ghatan, said in a statement to ABC News Thursday that she was “extremely concerned” about Ponsetto’s mental state.

“It is clear that she is emotionally unwell,” she said.

In an interview Friday with “Good Morning America,” Harrold Jr.’s parents said they were grateful for Ponsetto’s arrest this week.

“She should have been arrested a long time ago, but I am grateful that she is arrested,” his mom said.

Harrold Jr. said he was “happy that justice will be served.”

Headline photo caption: Miya Ponsetto

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


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