Following last December when 14-year old Keyon Harrold Jr. was accused of having a phone that wasn’t his — resulting in him being tackled to the ground — the child’s family has now filed a lawsuit against his attacker Miya Ponsetto, and the hotel where the incident went down.
If you recall, the attack garnered national attention when footage from it showed Ponsetto violently addressing Harrold in the lobby of New York City’s Arlo Hotel before latching onto the child and wrestling him to the ground. News of what happened became so widespread that Ponsetto, 22-years-old, infamously became known as “Soho Karen.”
As shared by CBS New York earlier today, Harrold’s family held a small press conference where they announced that their lawsuit would be filed “against both Ponsetto and the hotel.”
In a short clip of the announcement that the outlet shared, well-known attorney and civil rights specialist Ben Crump was seen with the family and spoke on December’s altercation. Poignantly, he of what had happened, “This is racial profiling 1-0-1 America.” Paul Napoli, another attorney who stood with the Harolds offered his point of view as well on the behaviors of Ponsetto and Arlo Hotel and stated, “They violated the human rights law of New York City.”
Seemingly also referring to the human rights law from what can be gathered from the clip, the child’s mother Kat Rodriguez made a plea to her fellow citizens in her message to the public. She passionately said, “This is a test — New York, will you back this law up?”
Relatedly, TMZ recently reported that after viewing documents they acquired of the filings, the family is “now alleging assault/battery, false imprisonment, infliction of emotional distress and other loss on behalf of their son … whom they say was emotionally scarred by the incident and incurred medical expenses.” According to the outlet, the hotel is included in the lawsuit because they “failed to provide a safe environment for guests.” If you recall, when the incident happened, footage also showed the hotel’s manager encouraging Harrold to cooperate with Ponsetto — and many believe he could have done a better job to de-escalate the situation overall.
Ponsetto was arrested back in early January following the events that took place in the hotel but was later released. She currently still faces multiple criminal charges related to her behavior in the incident, and they include “attempted assault, attempted robbery, grand larceny and endangering the welfare of a child” — all of which are still pending as reported by the New York Post.