LOS ANGELES — A woman who allegedly falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her phone and then tackled him at a New York City hotel was arrested Thursday in her home state of California.
The NYPD flew detectives out to speak with Miya Ponsetto, 22, early Thursday, following days of intense media coverage of the fracas at the hotel and demands by the teen’s family that the woman face criminal charges.
According to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, deputies tried to pull Ponsetto over for a traffic stop near her Simi Valley home Thursday, but she did not stop until reaching her residence, where she refused to get out of the car.
Deputies then had to physically pull Ponsetto from the vehicle, officials said. TMZ reported that amid the struggle, she attempted to slam the car door on a deputy’s leg.
Ponsetto was arrested for a fugitive warrant and jailed in Ventura County without bail.
Earlier Thursday, an attorney for Ponsetto said her client is “emotionally unwell” and remorseful.
The woman is expected to be extradited back to New York after a hearing Friday.
Ponsetto carried out the attack after falsely accusing the boy of stealing her cellphone. She was confirmed as the woman in the Dec. 26 video by her attorney, Sharen Ghatan.
The conflict at the Arlo Hotel in lower Manhattan between Ponsetto and Keyon Harrold Jr., 14, was recorded by his father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, and put online.
Both Harrold and his teen son are Black.
Harrold recorded the encounter with Ponsetto on his cellphone. The video captures her demanding that the boy prove to her that his cellphone is not hers. The cellphone video has now been viewed millions of times on social media.
It happened around midday on the Dec. 26 as Harrold and his son were coming off an elevator from their room at the Arlo Hotel here, where they were guests. The cellphone video also captured the hotel manager also asking to see the boy’s phone. The father tells his son in the video to refuse, because it’s the teen’s property.
In surveillance video of the incident, the woman is seen lunging at the boy, after he refuses to give her his property. She tackles him, and throws him to the floor. She also scratched Harrold, as he tried to protect his son. That’s all according to the NYPD, which also made the surveillance video available to the public, and issued a digital wanted poster for the woman.
The woman fled the scene before officers arrived, the NYPD chief of detectives said earlier this week. He also said that she could face charges of assault, grand larceny, attempted robbery, and harassment.
The woman’s cellphone ended up being turned in to her, shortly after the attack, by the driver of an Uber she’d been in earlier that day, according to Harrold and other sources.
They also said that Ponsetto had checked out of the hotel days before the incident.
PIX11 News’ James Ford , Jay Dow and Corey Crockett contributed to this story.