NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a story that is making headlines across the country, investigators say a teenager was wrongly accused of stealing a cellphone inside a Manhattan hotel.
As CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Thursday, there is new surveillance video showing the violent confrontation.
The clip starts by showing a woman in a white hat following 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. She then grabs him from behind and tackles him to the ground.
On Saturday, December 26, the woman in this video falsely accused an innocent 14-year-old teenager of stealing her cellphone. She then proceeded to physically attack him and fled the location before police officers arrived on scene. pic.twitter.com/qtZZWetBWH
— Chief Rodney Harrison (@NYPDDetectives) December 31, 2020
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison tweeted the surveillance video, saying the woman shown is the person who falsely accused the teen of stealing her phone and then attacking him.
Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke about the incident on Thursday morning on CNN.
“You got a teenager here who did nothing wrong, who was clearly profiled because he was young and male and Black. That is racism, pure and simple. That is unacceptable in this city, in this country,” de Blasio said.
The teen’s father, Grammy Award-winning musician Keyon Harrold originally posted his own one-minute video of the incident on Instagram. The woman claims the phone is her’s and asks a man said to be the manager of the Arlo Hotel in SoHo to get it back.
At one point, Harrold Sr. says to her, “Are you kidding me? You feel there’s only one iPhone made in the world?”
The incident happened Saturday morning. Harrold Sr. said he and his son had come down from their room for breakfast when the random woman targeted them.
It turns out, shortly after an Uber driver returned her phone, police said.
While the NYPD continues to search for her, the unnamed woman did speak to CNN and disputed Harrold Sr.’s account of what happened. She claimed she was assaulted during the incident, but the network could not corroborate that.
When asked about the video and the possibility of facing charges, she told CNN, “Of course I worry. That’s not who I am. I actually try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing.”
On Wednesday, the teen’s parents and supporters rallied outside City Hall and called what happened racial discrimination. But at this point, police are not investigating the case as a bias incident.
Police have not released the woman’s name, but say she’s from California and is believed to be in the New York area. If found, she could face charges ranging from assault to attempted robbery.
CBS2’s Andrea Grymes contributed to this report
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