Miya Ponsetto​, Who Wrongly Accused Black Teen Of Stealing Phone at Hotel, Charged With Federal Hate Crime

The woman wrongly accused a Black teen of taking her phone at a NYC hotel late last year.

A California woman who wrongly accused a Black teen of taking her phone at a New York City hotel late last year and grabbed at him as he tried to leave is now charged with a hate crime.

Miya Ponsetto, who has been labeled "Soho Karen," was arraigned in court in Manhattan via videoconference Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to charges including unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child.

Ponsetto was at the Arlo Hotel in December when she got into a confrontation with a teen, 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr., whom she accused of stealing her phone. Video shows her grabbing at him as he tried to get away. Her phone was found soon afterward in an Uber.

Ponsetto, of Piru, California, was initially arrested in January on other charges in connection with the confrontation. The 22-year-old initially seemed to apologize, but later backed off in a tense interview with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King.

"I wasn't racial profiling whatsoever," Ponsetto told King. "I'm Puerto Rican. I'm, like, a woman of color." 

Her next court date is scheduled for Oct. 20.

This story was originally published by CBS News on July 1, 2021 at 7:15 a.m. ET.



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