NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Miya Ponsetto, the woman who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her cell phone in a SoHo hotel, is now in police custody in California.
Police confirmed the 22-year-old was taken into custody Thursday after a joint effort between the NYPD and the Ventura sheriff’s office.
NYPD detectives went to California earlier this week to question Ponsetto in connection to the Dec. 26 incident.
Ponsetto was caught on video accusing 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. of having her phone in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in SoHo and demanding he give it back.
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
Surveillance video shows a woman in a white hat following the teen before grabbing him from behind and tackling him to the ground.
Ponsetto’s phone was found in the back of an Uber and returned after the altercation.
Ponsetto’s attorney told CBS2 her actions were anxiety-induced, not racially charged.
“She just wants the family to know that she didn’t notice, care or concern herself with the race, creed, nationality or religion of the other party. She thought that was her phone, and she thought someone else had it,” the attorney said.
Police have said they are not investigating the case as a bias incident.
They also have no authority to extradite her back to New York without first charging her with a crime, which could range from assault to attempted robbery.
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