Woman Who Falsely Accused Black Teen of Phone Theft at NYC Hotel Has Previous DUI, Public Intoxication Charges

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The woman seen in widely circulated video attacking and falsely accusing a Black teenager of stealing her cell phone in a New York City hotel was allegedly involved in another incident at a hotel last year. Miya Ponsetto and her mother were charged with public intoxication after cops say they refused to leave the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.

They pleaded not guilty and have a court hearing later this month. A day after the Beverly Hills incident, Ponsetto was cited for drunk driving and reportedly pleaded no contest.

Ponsetto set off a national uproar last week for tackling Keyond Harrold Jr, 14, in the lobby of Arlo Hotel in Manhattan, prompting some to give her the moniker “SoHo Karen.”

Surveillance video released by the NYPD shows her chasing the boy in the lobby before grabbing and swinging him down to the floor. The NYPD said in a statement that Harrold Jr. was “innocent” and accused the woman—then unidentified—of “physically attacking him.”

Ponsetto had actually left her phone behind in an Uber.

The incident was also caught on camera by the boy’s father, Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold. Ponsetto returned to California before she could be questioned by NYPD detectives. The incident is under investigation. Keyon’s parents have called for Ponsetto to be charged.

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