In tense interview, Ventura County woman apologizes for falsely accusing black teenager of stealing phone


A white woman who falsely accused a black teenage girl of stealing her cell phone and attacking her at a New York City hotel appeared to back down her apology in a TV interview aired on Monday, suggesting without evidence that he may have been. being tried to steal his phone after all.

“So maybe it wasn’t him but at the same time how is it that as soon as I am asked to leave the premises after accusing this person of stealing my phone, how come that all of a sudden they come miraculously I have my phone in the back? Miya Ponsetto, 22, said in the interview on “CBS This Morning”.

The interview was conducted on Thursday, hours before Ponsetto was arrested in Ventura County, Calif., During the Dec. 26 confrontation with 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr.. Ponsetto was charged on Saturday in New York with attempted theft, grand larceny, one offensive to a child and two counts of attempted assault, city police said.

Security video released by police shows Ponsetto frantically gripping Harrold as he tries to get away from her through the front door of the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan. The teenager’s father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, said Ponsetto’s phone was actually left in an Uber and returned by the driver.

In the first part of the CBS interview, which aired Friday, Ponsetto told host Gayle King, “I don’t think that’s who I am as a person. I don’t feel like this mistake defines me.

She was often combative in clips aired Monday, interrupting King and his own lawyer, Sharen H. Ghatan.

Ponsetto said she was “sorry from the bottom of my heart” but added: “He’s 14? Is that what they claim? Yeah, I’m 22, I probably lived the same lifespan, like honestly. I am as child at heart as he is.

When King asked him to review the events at the hotel, Ponsetto said, “You asked me that before at the start of the interview. I will not do it again. I would love to have a real interview with real questions and a real heart and a real sincere apology. Let 2021 be the time for recovery, seriously. “

Ponsetto’s arrest follows more than a week of media coverage of the meeting in the hotel lobby and demands from the teenager’s family and activists that she face criminal charges for it. which was considered a case of racial profiling.

In the CBS interview, Ponsetto denied introducing the teenager and said her legacy was partly Puerto Rican. When King asked her if she believed a person of color couldn’t be racist, she replied, “Exactly.”

“I’m sorry I put all of this stress on the family, but at the same time, it wasn’t just them who were going through this,” she said in a “CBS This Morning” interview that aired Friday. “But I sincerely apologize from the bottom of my heart if I made the son feel like I assaulted him or hurt his feelings or those of the father.”

At a press conference in New York on Monday, the teenager’s family called for a boycott of the hotel, saying he had racially profiled it in his response.

“This is the reality of black mothers in America,” said her mother, Kat Rodriguez. “Every day we have to face the reality that a simple case of mistaken identity or misunderstanding can end in tragedy.”

The management of the Arlo hotel previously posted on Facebook that they have contacted the family to apologize.

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