Miya Ponsetto, aka “SoHo Karen,” is in NYPD custody and may be known as Inmate #202C17.
The 22-year-old California woman appeared in Manhattan court on Saturday, exactly two weeks after she falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her phone at the Arlo Hotel. Ponsetto confronted the 14-year-old son of Grammy award-winning artist Keyon Harrold. Video captured by Harrold and hotel surveillance cameras showed the woman tackling the teen and allegedly trying to take Keyon Harrold Jr.’s phone.
ABC News reports that Ponsetto is facing multiple charges, including third-degree attempted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child, and two counts of attempted assault. Prior to her arraignment, Ponsetto engaged in a terse interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King. During their virtual sit-down, King asked Ponsetto to “help her understand” why she thought Harrold Jr., specifically, had taken her phone.
“I had been approaching people who had been exiting the hotel because in my mind, anyone exiting might be the one to have stolen my phone,” Ponsetto explained to King before admitting that she did not approach everyone who was exiting the hotel. The interview led to Ventura County Sheriff deputies and two NYPD detectives arresting Ponsetto, who ignored orders from the police to stop and get out of her car. She was followed for about a mile before she was finally detained, the authorities said.
“She kept driving,” said Capt. Eric Buschow of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. “She was very uncooperative.”
Despite the numerous people who tried to intervene at the Arlo hotel, plus the fact that Harrold Jr. didn’t have the missing cellphone (it was recovered from an Uber driver) — Ponsetto failed to recognize her controversial actions and doubled down on being ignorant. In terms of what she could’ve done different, Ponsetto told King during her CBS interview, “Maybe not yelled at him like that and made him feel you know, some sort of, uh, inferior way, making him feel as if I was like, hurting his feelings — that’s not my intention. I consider myself to be super sweet.”
In light of the incident, Harrold Sr. wrote on social media, “Think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad. Then … her phone was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident. No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me.”
Ponsetto’s interview with Gayle King will air in its entirety today.