November 27, 2021


travel, Always a step ahead

SoCal woman who confronted Black teen over phone in NYC in custody

PIRU, Calif. — A California woman seen on video tackling a Black teenager whom she falsely accused of stealing her phone at a Manhattan hotel is in custody in the Los Angeles area, law enforcement officials say.

Police said Thursday night Miya Ponsetto was taken into custody by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department. NYPD detectives, who had flown to California to assist with the search, were also present for the arrest.

The Ventura County sheriff’s deputies had planned to make a traffic stop on the warrant for her arrest out of New York, but she refused to stop and drove slowly through her Piru, Calif., neighborhood, officials say.

When she came to a stop, she put up a fight and resisted arrest. ABC News reports she had to be physically restrained and arrested.

Ponsetto is being held on no bail and will have an extradition hearing. Once she is done with New York, she could also face charges in California for resisting arrest and possibly for the pursuit.

Ponsetto was confirmed as the woman in the Dec. 26 video by her attorney, Sharen Ghatan.

Ghatan said Ponsetto is “emotionally unwell” and remorseful.

RELATED: New video shows woman attacking innocent Black teen she thought stole her phone at NYC hotel

The conflict at the Arlo Hotel in lower Manhattan between Ponsetto and 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. was recorded by his father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and put online.

In his video, an agitated woman is seen demanding her phone be returned while a hotel manager tries to settle the situation.

Security video later released by the NYPD shows the woman frantically chasing down the teen as he tried to exit the hotel’s front door. She’s seen grabbing him from behind before both tumble to the ground. Harrold has said the phone was returned by an Uber driver shortly afterward.

The altercation drew comparisons to cases like that of Amy Cooper, a white woman who was charged with filing a false report for calling 911 and saying she was being threatened by “an African American man” during a dispute in New York’s Central Park in May.

Harrold has called on the Manhattan district attorney to bring assault and battery charges against Ponsetto.

Ghatan said she spoke to her client, who lives near Los Angeles, on Thursday, and that “she strikes me as someone who’s unwell.”

She said Ponsetto “lashed out” over worry about her phone disappearing, and that it wasn’t racially motivated.

It “could have been anyone,” she said.

Watch: The Harrold family talks to ‘GMA’:

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Source Article