Miya Ponsetto, who attacked a Black teen over her missing iPhone, managed to avoid jail time with a plea deal. According to multiple news reports, the 23-year-old pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree as a hate crime and second-degree misdemeanor aggravated harassment. She is now required to serve two years of probation, which can turn into four years in prison if she fails to comply with the terms of her deal.
Ponsetto approached Keyon Harrold Jr. in the lobby of Arlo Soho hotel last December and falsely accused him of her stealing her iPhone. In a clip that went viral, she was captured yelling at the teen and tackling him to the floor over the mobile phone, which was discovered in an Uber and later returned to the hotel.
Ponsetto, who has since been dubbed “Soho Karen,” was arrested and charged with attempted robbery, grand larceny, acting in a manner injurious to a child, two counts of attempted assault, two counts of unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child. She initially pled not guilty to all charges and said she had no intention of hurting Harrold.
“I was approaching the people that had been exiting the hotel, because in my mind, anybody exiting is probably the one, might be the one, that is trying to steal my phone,” Ponsetto explained. “I admit yes, I could have approached the situation differently, or maybe not yelled at him like that and made him feel, some sort of, inferior way, making him feel as if I was like, hurting his feelings because that’s not my intention. I consider myself to be super sweet, I really never ever meant for it to like hurt him or his father either.”