A WOMAN known as "Soho Karen" who was filmed tackling a black teen in an unprovoked attack at a New York hotel has been arrested after fleeing the state.
Miya Ponsetto, 22, was detained by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department after a brief car chase in California on Thursday, law enforcement sources told the NY Daily News.
“They had to pull her out of the car. They did use physical force,” Eric Buschow, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, told the outlet.
“She tried to slam the door on the leg of one of our deputies and so she was forcibly removed from the vehicle.”
The ex-cheerleader had a warrant out for her arrest after she allegedly dragged Keyon Harrold Jr, 14, to the floor in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in New York City while falsely claiming that he stole her iPhone on December 26.
The incident was captured on video by the teen’s dad, Grammy-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold Sr who shared the footage on Instagram.
Minutes after the viral altercation, an Uber driver arrived with her phone, the teenager's dad said in the post.
The NYPD then released hotel surveillance footage showing the woman, Keyon, Keyon Jr. and another individual standing at the bottom of the stairs in the lobby.
As Keyon Jr walks towards the floor, his alleged attacker lunges at him and grabs his waist as his dad runs after them and they pass through the automatic doors during the tackle.
"On Saturday, December 26, the woman in this video falsely accused an innocent 14-year-old teenager of stealing her cellphone," police said in a tweet.
"She then proceeded to physically attack him and fled the location before police officers arrived on scene."
The footage went viral and the woman later revealed to be Ponsetto, was dubbed on social media as a “Karen,” a pejorative term for an entitled white woman.
Ponsetto’s lawyer Sharen Ghatan told NY Daily News that she had an in-person meeting with her client earlier on Thursday.
“I have no clue if she’s in custody. I had a difficult day with her. We had an interview lined up, and within 10 to 15 minutes, I realized she was not well, not mentally fit to do any interviews,” Ghatan said.
“So I’m not surprised this has happened, if she’s in custody. I haven’t heard it. She was very much MIA for a while, and when she finally came to the big interview, it was clear to me she shouldn’t be there. I’m concerned for her wellbeing.”
When a New York Post photographer last month approached Ponsetta coming out of a McDonald's in Fillmore, California, she indicated that she didn't realize there was an issue.
“I’m actually 22 so I don’t know what the problem is here,” she said when the snapper pointed out how young Keyron Jr is.
“And I’m also Puerto Rican so thank you. Take care of yourself.”
When asked if she regretted what happened after the viral video emerged, Ponsetto replied:
“I’m good, thank you. Have a very good day. Take care of yourself."
Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance has since signed off on attempted robbery charges in the December 26 incident, NY Daily News reports.
She was previously arrested in Beverly Hills police in February last year for being drunk in public, according to an online docket for the Los Angeles Airport Courthouse cited by the Daily Mail.
Her mom, Nicole, was also reportedly a co-defendant booked on the same charge plus assaulting a police officer. A hearing on the case is scheduled for January 28.
Ponsetto was arrested again in May on four DUI counts, according to the Mail, and pled guilty in September with a sentencing hearing set for on January 14.
The publication reported that she bolted to her family's $389,000 home in the small farming town of Piru, which is north of Los Angeles, after the incident at the NYC hotel.
Earlier, Harrold Sr, Keyon's mother Kat Rodriguez, and their lawyer Ben Crump – who also represents George Floyd's family – demanded "SoHo Karen" be charged with assault.
Rodriguez is a saxophonist for Beyoncé and Harrold Sr is a trumpeter, producer, and composer who has played with artists including Rihanna, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z.
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