Miya Ponsetto arrested for assaulting Black teen, falsely accusing him of theft
A lawyer who represents the California woman known as 'SoHo Karen' says she has 'not grasped the severity of her circumstances'
Miya Ponsetto, the California woman known as “SoHo Karen” for falsely accusing a Black teen of stealing her cell phone and subsequently attacking him at a New York City hotel, has been arrested after nearly two weeks.
Ponsetto was taken into custody in Los Angeles after being located as a result of a collaborative investigation led by the Ventura County Sheriff’s office and NYPD, TMZ reports. Ponsetto had traveled back to California following the Dec. 26 incident and had reportedly been evading law enforcement at her mother’s home.
The 22-year-old faces charges for assaulting a 14-year-old and attempted robbery.
As theGrio previously reported, Ponsetto stormed inside the Arlo SoHo Hotel in Manhattan accusing Keyon Harrold Jr., 14, of stealing her iPhone. She also charged at him and dragged him to the ground. Harrold’s father, Keyon Harrold Sr., was also present and filmed the encounter which went viral the day after Christmas.
Despite initially claiming she was the one who was assaulted, security footage would later confirm that Ponsetto was the only aggressor. Since then, the Harrold family has retained legal representation and publicly demanded that Ponsetto be arrested.
According to TMZ, Ponsetto has a history with breaking the law. She’s been arrested twice for a DUI in 2020 and was charged for public intoxication with her mother in Beverly Hills. Recently, Ponsetto claimed her attack was a result of her anxiety, however, as theGrio reported, Harrold Jr. is seeking therapy for his own mental health after the ordeal.
According to the report, the teenager asked his father, “Why me?” after the now-viral moment.
Ponsetto’s attorney, Sharen H. Ghatan, told TMZ that her client is “emotionally and mentally fragile,” has “gone rogue” and has not heeded her lawyer’s advice.
“Miya has not grasped the severity of her circumstances. She is expressly disregarding advice and has gone rogue,” Ghatan said.
“I had an in-person meeting with Miya today, and after seeing her in person, I was able to determine she is simply unwell. She is emotionally and mentally fragile. I was forced to cancel national interviews due to my concern of her wellbeing and lack of understanding of the process. I am here to guide her as legal counsel – but if she is unwilling to take my advice, there is not much more I can do.”
theGrio’s Keydra Manns contributed to this report.
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