Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Woman who accused Black teen of stealing cellphone is arrested

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NEW YORK (AP) — A girl who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her cellphone after which tackled him at a New York City lodge was arrested in her home state of California.Miya Ponsetto, 22, was jailed Thursday in Ventura County, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s workplace there mentioned. It wasn’t instantly clear what fees she may face.The New York Police Department flew detectives out to California earlier Thursday with a warrant for Ponsetto’s arrest. The journey adopted days of intense media protection of the fracas on the lodge and calls for by the teenager’s household and activists that she face felony fees.Ponsetto’s lawyer, Sharen Ghatan, mentioned in an interview earlier than the arrest that her consumer is “emotionally unwell” and remorseful for her Dec. 26 conflict with 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. at Manhattan’s Arlo Hotel.The teen’s father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, recorded the confrontation and put the video online.In his video, an agitated woman is seen demanding the teen’s phone, claiming he stole it. A hotel manager tries to intervene. Keyon Harrold can be heard in the recording telling the woman to leave his son alone. Ghatan confirmed that Ponsetto is the woman in the video.Security video later released by the NYPD shows Ponsetto frantically grabbing at the teen as he tried to get away from her through the hotel’s front door. She’s seen clutching him from behind before both tumble to the ground.Ponsetto’s missing phone had actually been left in an Uber and was returned by the driver shortly afterward, Keyon Harrold has said.The altercation drew comparisons to cases like that of Amy Cooper, a white woman who was charged with filing a false report for calling 911 and saying she was being threatened by “an African American man” during a dispute in New York’s Central Park in May.Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Ponsetto after spotting her driving near her home in Piru, northwest of Los Angeles, said department Capt. Eric Buschow.Story continuesShe drove two blocks before stopping her vehicle, then refused to get out of the car, Buschow said.“She tried to slam the door on one of the deputies and that’s when they just reached in and forcibly removed her,” he said, adding that the sheriff’s office would ask county prosecutors to charge her with resisting arrest.Ghatan said she spoke to her client earlier Thursday, and that “she strikes me as someone who’s unwell.”She mentioned Ponsetto “lashed out” over worry about her phone disappearing, and that it wasn’t racially motivated.It “could have been anyone,” she mentioned.

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