Police Identify The White Woman Who Accused And Harassed A Black 14-Year-Old For Allegedly Stealing Her Phone
While she has not yet been apprehended, the woman could face charges for the physical attack on jazz musician Keyon Harrold and his teen son.
December 28, 2020 at 5:45 pm
(Update, December 31, 2020) -- Police have identified the white woman who harassed and assaulted the 14-year-old son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold after alleging the teen stole her cellphone, which was later returned to her by Uber.
While NYPD authorities have neither released her name nor apprehended her, the woman could face charges, including assault and grand larceny or attempted robbery. NYPD spokeswoman, Sophia Mason confirmed that the woman "has been positively identified and detectives are endeavoring to locate her."
New footage from the incident has sparked the potential upgrade to the previously sought charges, according to Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison, who spoke at a press conference on Tuesday, during which The Manhattan District Attorney's Office also announced that they are conducting a thorough investigation of the incident.
In the newly-released 10-second video clip, the woman is seen tackling the teenager and wrapping her arms around him as if to continue the physical attack.
"I've been confused. I mean, don't know what would've happened if my dad wasn't there, honestly," Keyon Harrold Jr. told GMA. "These past few days, still kind of shell-shocked. But I'm hanging in there."
"I was confused because I've never seen that lady ever and I didn't know what to do at the moment -- that's why I was happy to have my dad there to help me," he continued.
During the interview, both Keyon Sr. and Crump made it clear that charges would be pursued in the matter.
"We want charges because we have to send a message because this has larger society implications," Crump said. "Think about how many Black men have been falsely accused by these Karens and they end up losing their liberty and losing their life sitting in prison."
(Original Story, December 28, 2020) -- Award-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold and his 14-year-old son were staying at a Manhattan hotel on Saturday when they encountered a white woman who threw a tantrum and falsely accused the teenager of taking her cellphone.
According to The New York Times, Harrold captured parts of the incident at the Arlo Hotel on video. The woman was seen yelling at the boy and tackling him while trying to look in his pockets. The phone, however, was found in an Uber later in the day and delivered to the hotel.
"I am furious!!! We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!! I typically try to keep things positive, but nothing about this video is positive," the musician wrote on Instagram. "The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the Arlo Soho to get breakfast."
Harrold said the woman, who hasn't been identified, was racially profiling the family.
“I wonder what would happen if it were different; if it were a Black woman and there was a white 14-year-old,” he said.
The father also became angry with the hotel's manager, who tried to verify the woman's accusation by asking the teenager to give up the phone.
“They assumed he was guilty,” Harrold said. “The management didn’t even question her as to why she would even think he had the phone.”
The hotel later released a statement to apologize to the family.
“We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel,” the hotel stated, adding that it would make sure "this never happens again at any of our hotels.”
Harrold said he had been staying at the Arlo Hotel, located in the SoHo neighborhood in New York City, since mid-December, hoping that a change in setting would spark his creativity. The musician and his son were planning to get brunch on Saturday when they encountered the Karen in the lobby. The woman disappeared after tackling the boy and never made the contact with the family again.
One Instagram user, who is facing harassment on social media after being suspected as the Karen at the hotel, has denied that she is the person of interest, Daily Mail reported.
"I hope you find truely (sic) who this person is because what she did is disgusting and this hotel should be held accountable," wrote the Instagram user, who has posted photos of herself at the Arlo in SoHo.
Considering the countless other incidents of racial profiling that have turned deadly, Harold fears what would have happened if he wasn't there to protect his son.
“I’ve seen people be hurt or even killed for less,” the artist said.
The Ferguson, Missouri native started playing jazz professionally at age 19 after moving to New York. Harrold has performed with artists such as Common, Snoop Dogg, JAY-Z, Beyoncé and Rihanna. According to Daily Mail, the artist appeared on the soundtrack of the Grammy Award-winning production, Miles Ahead, a biopic about Miles Davis, in 2017.
The Arlo Hotel incident is drawing comparison to the case of Christian Cooper, the birdwatcher who was profiled by a woman at New York City's Central Park earlier this year. As Blavity previously reported, the woman became angry when Cooper asked her to put her dog on a leash. She then called 911 to report that a Black man was "threatening" her.