Miya Ponsetto Tries To Leverage Puerto Rican Heritage as Proof She’s Not Racist

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Miya Ponsetto, best known as the woman captured in a viral video assaulting a Black 14-year-old, who she wrongly accused of stealing her phone, has been granted supervised release after being arrested on Thursday, CNN reports.

A video taken by the teenager’s father, Keyon Harrold, has gone viral, earning Ponsetto the nickname “SoHo Karen.” The clip shows Ponsetto wide-eyed and screaming as she falsely claims Herrold’s son stole her phone on Dec. 26, 2020, at the Arlo SoHo House Boutique Hotel in Lower Manhattan, where the victims, visiting from Ferguson, Missouri, were staying.

Hotel staff seemed to hold back Ponsetto, who was not a guest at the hotel, while asking for Herrold and his son to cooperate with her demands to see the phone. She’s seen lunging at the teen, grabbing hold and nearly knocking him to the ground. Harrold wrote on Instagram that he personally was scratched by Ponsetto.

The 22-year-old resident of Piru, California, was arraigned Saturday after being arrested at a traffic stop on Thursday. She was then extradited to New York, where the confrontation occurred. Charges filed include attempt assault, endangering the welfare of a child, attempted robbery and attempted grand larceny.

Shortly after the incident, Ponsetto found her phone. She’d left it in a rideshare and the driver had returned it to a receptionist at the hotel.

At the time of her arrest, Ponsetto reportedly attempted to resist; she “refused to exit her vehicle and tried to slam her car door on an officer,” prosecutors said.

Orders of protection have been granted to the victims; Ponsetto, as part of the terms of her release, is not permitted to contact them. Another condition: She must be present at all upcoming court dates for multiple previous, still-open cases, which include driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest in California.

In a virtual interview with Gayle King before her arrest, Ponsetto leverages her Puerto Rican, Italian and Greek heritage as proof her attack was not racist. (She also brazenly holds a hand up to interrupt King and says, “Enough.”)

“You keep saying you’re Puerto Rican,” King notes during their chat. “Does that mean you can’t be racist, because you’re saying you’re a woman of color?”

“Exactly,” Ponsetto retorts.

“Well, I would disagree that people of color can be racist, too,” King responds.

Similarly, in a video obtained by TMZ in which Ponsetto is seen exiting an LA restaurant and entering her car, she says to the camera, “I don’t know what the problem is here. And I’m also Puerto Rican, so thank you.”

Her lawyer claims Ponsetto is “emotionally unwell.”

Keyon Harrold has pointed out the discrepancies in treatment of Ponsetto and what he expects would have happened had it been him, or any other Black man, wrongfully accusing a white teenager of theft.