Update (March 24, 2021):  Keyon Harrold and his family are suing the Arlo Hotel for the actions of their staff members following an incident in December where his son was falsely accused of stealing a smartphone by a raging white woman, according to NBC 4.

The case drew major headlines and caused even more outrage when the woman behind the attack, Miya Ponsetto, appeared in a disastrous interview with CBS host Gayle King

But now the family, along with attorney Ben Crump, are filing a suit against the hotel for siding with Ponsetto after she randomly accused 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her phone and tackled the teen on video. 

"The hotel manager empowered Ponsetto by asking the minor to give his cell phone up to prove that he was innocent of the false allegations," the family said in a news release obtained by NBC 4.

Video of the incident from Harrold’s cellphone and from security camera footage showed hotel staff members demanding the teen address Ponsetto’s accusations, which caught the father and son off guard because they had just gotten off the elevator together and were preparing to eat breakfast.

Both were alarmed that the hotel would side with a random woman over paying customers at the hotel who were very clearly not involved in Ponsetto’s situation at all. 

Harrold Jr.’s mother, Kat Rodriguez, said the teen is now traumatized after being attacked by Ponsetto.

"I can't hug my son from the back without him cringing. He actually asked me not to affectionately touch his back or shoulders for a while. He doesn't want to visit hotels. He asked us why. He started therapy. This has absolutely traumatized him," she said. 

The hotel apologized in a statement to NBC 4 earlier this year, writing that they were “deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel.” 

The hotel admitted that while the manager eventually called the police, “more could have been done to de-escalate the dispute.”

"No Arlo guest – or any person – should be subject to this kind of behavior. We want to apologize to Mr. Harrold and his son for this inexcusable experience, and have reached out to them directly to express our sincere regret and to offer help in dealing with this traumatic event. We are committed to making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels," the statement read.

Ponsetto has since been charged with attempted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child and two counts of attempted assault charges.

Original (January 8, 2021): The woman who attacked a Black teen over false claims that he stole her cellphone has been arrested, according to NBC News. 

Miya Ponsetto was caught on video tackling 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. at a New York City hotel last month after she accused him of taking her cellphone, which her lawyer later confirmed was actually left in an Uber she was in.

Harrold Jr.'s father, noted jazz musician Keyon Harrold, shared a video of the incident on his own Facebook page, criticizing Ponsetto and workers at The Arlo Soho Hotel for racially profiling his son as they were walking out of the hotel. 

Ponsetto fled New York City and flew back to her home in Piru, California, where she was arrested by Ventura County officers on Thursday. 

The Ventura County Sheriff told NBC News that they were working with the NYPD and tried to stop the 22-year-old in her car but she would not leave her vehicle. She slammed a door on one of the officers and fought them before she was removed by force. 

Video of the incident went viral last month and prompted outrage considering the many other videos and incidents that have occurred where Black people are falsely accused of crimes for simply existing in a place. 

“I can’t even come downstairs in New York City — prime New York City — and just go brunch without being attacked and wrongfully accused of something. The idea of trauma goes above any charge that could ever be had,” Harrold said at a press conference last week. “I want my son to grow up whole.”

"Now I ask you, what would the hotel manager and security guards have done had they witnessed a Black man tackle a white teenager in furious pursuit of a missing cell phone? This is the double-standard that exists in America today!" Ben Crump, the family's attorney, wrote in a statement.

"Keyon Harrold Jr. will live with this trauma for life, the weight of racism on the shoulders of another generation. He deserves better than this treatment!"

Ponsetto's lawyer, Sharon Ghatan, explained to NBC News that she was checking into the hotel and left all of her belongings in the hotel lobby because she was searching for something in a Starbucks bathroom. When she came back, she could not find her phone and began accosting people in the lobby. 

Harrold and his son were leaving the elevator when Ponsetto began screaming that they took her phone. Surprisingly, the hotel staff immediately took her side, asking the Harrolds to wait and hand over the phone as the two looked confused.

She eventually tackled Harrold's son on camera and scratched him while demanding he gives her the phone. 

Her lawyer went on to claim she is “emotionally and mentally unwell” and is facing several other charges in unrelated cases. 

“She lost her mind for a hot minute. She is sorry. Sadly, these poor Harrolds had to deal with the aftermath,” Ghatan said. 

Ponsetto is facing public intoxication and battery charges from an altercation at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California, last February and DUI charges for an incident in May, according to NBC News. In September, she was sentenced to three years of probation for the DUI. 

Right before her arrest, Ponsetto was actually interviewed by CBS This Morning host Gayle King about the incident, providing flippant responses and often arguing with King.

On camera, Ponsetto's lawyer asked her to stop going back and forth with King but she refused, often cutting her off and putting her hand up to demand King stop talking. 

She attempted to paint herself as harmless and implied that she did nothing wrong. 

Harrold wrote in an op-ed published by USA Today about the danger that Black people face and his fear for his son's future, considering there are many people like Ponsetto and the hotel staff. 

"What if I had lost my cellphone, walked into an upscale establishment, and wrongfully accused a 14-year-old white child of stealing my phone, then assaulted that child and his father? Would the establishment's manager have enabled me to attack them and allowed me to leave the establishment only to realize later that I lost my phone in an Uber? Would it have taken several days to locate and identify me? I will leave it to you to ponder and then answer those questions," he wrote.

"False accusations against and assumptions about Black people are frequently at the root of run-ins with the law and have been used to justify the killing of Black and brown people at the hands of both civilians and police. My son and I were robbed of civil respect. My word was of no value. We were presumed guilty and required to comply with white authority. We were forced to accept injustice as normalcy and the rule. Where is justice? There is often no accountability for false accusations," he added.