Woman Pleads Not Guilty of All Charges
22-year-old woman Miya Ponsetto denies charges of hate crime, endangering welfare of a child, and aggravated harassment, pleading not guilty.
“Soho Karen”, as the internet named her, Miya Ponsetto came into headlines over news and social media in December, 2020 for attacking a Black teenager at a hotel in Soho. Ponsetto allegedly attacked and accused the teenager of stealing her phone.
At a virtual court hearing on Wednesday addressing two counts of unlawful imprisonment as aggravated harassment, hate crime as well as endangering the welfare of a child , Ponsetto pleaded not guilty.
Paul D’Emilia, Ponsetto’s attorney, bashed the charges, calling them “brazen”, “absurd”, and “a perversion of our legal system”. According to D’Emilia, the charges are a far overreach from the intent of the statute.
What Exactly Happened at the Hotel
A video went viral on social media on December 26, 2020 and was soon covered by various news agencies. The video was shot at New York’s Arlo Hotel’s lobby. It showed 22-year-old Ponsetto approaching a Black teenager named Keyon Harrold Jr. and his father Keyon Harrold.
According to authorities, Ponsetto accused Harrold Jr. of theft of her phone. Upon trying to move away, the teen was tackled by Ponsetto who then tried to recover her phone. It was later revealed that her phone was at the hotel and not with the teen.
The video as well as the CCTV footage from the hotel went viral on social media. This was followed by Ponsetto’s arrest from outside her home in Piru, CA on January 7, 2021.
It was confirmed that Ponsetto didn’t show any cooperation with the police and had to be forcibly pulled out of her car. She also reportedly slammed one of the side doors on a deputy.