Last year, Miya Ponsetto, a 22-year-old California native, who accused a black teen of stealing her cell phone and proceeded to attack him in a Soho, NYC hotel, was charged with a hate crime after pleading not guilty.
The incident took place at the Arlo Hotel in New York City in December of 2020. On June 23, 2021, she was arraigned in Manhattan. Initially, Ponsetto was not accused of a hate crime. At the time of her arrest in January of 2021, she was charged with two counts of attempted assault, attempted robbery, grand larceny and endangering the welfare of a child.
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The victim, Keyon Jr., son of jazz musician Kenyon Harrold, denied stealing the woman’s phone before she lunged at him. In an interview with CBS, Ponsetto described Kenyon Harrold attacking her, she noted him “slamming me to the ground, pulling my hair, and dragging me across the ground.” Allegedly, Kenyon Jr. never had the phone.
During the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Sarah Marquez said that a Lyft driver gave the phone to the hotel lobby after a passenger left it in his car. Ponsetto maintains that she did not act out of hate, her attorney, Paul D’Emilia, said, “The charges alleged are a brazen and clear overreach of the intent of the statute. In sum, they are absurd and a perversion of our legal system.”