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Woman who attacked Black teen over iPhone claims she was assaulted

“That’s not who I am,” she said.

Miya Ponsetto Screenshot of video from Keyon Harrold

The woman who attacked a Black teenager after falsely accusing him of stealing her iPhone is now speaking out.

During a phone call with CNN, the woman, whose name has not been released, said she was actually the one who was assaulted during the incident with Keyon Harrold and his son. She claims the incident started when she demanded to see the video surveillance at the Arlo SoHo boutique hotel on Saturday (Dec. 26). The woman then asked someone else in the hotel lobby to “empty their pockets” before she asked Keyon Harrold Jr. to.

“That’s when everything got a little bit more serious,” she said.

CNN said the woman often rambled throughout her story. She was then asked if she was concerned about how she has been portrayed so far. “Of course I worry,” she said. “That’s not who I am. I actually ... try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing.”

She agreed to share evidence that supported her claims that she was assaulted, but she stopped answering CNN’s calls and text messages.

On Dec. 26, the woman attacked the teen as he was waiting for breakfast with his father at the hotel. She tackled him and tried to search his pockets for her phone. To make matters worse, a hotel worker used his “managerial authority” to demand that the teen show his phone to the lady. The woman’s iPhone was later returned to her by an Uber driver, who found the cellphone in his car.

Civil Rights Attorney Ben Crump, who represents the Harrolds, called for the woman to be charged with battery and assault.

“We strongly urge Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to bring assault and battery charges against this woman to send the message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable,” he said in a statement. “This is what it will take to drive change. We also call for a civil rights investigation into the Arlo Hotel for its implicit bias in its treatment of Keyon.”

The NYPD has reportedly identified the woman and is working to locate her.

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