The woman known as ‘Soho Karen’ has been remanded in jail after an eight-minute California court hearing where she agreed to be extradited to New York City on four felony charges for attacking a black teenager.
Miya Ponsetto, 22, appeared in Ventura County court, California, via Zoom just after 2 p.m. local time Friday for her extradition hearing for a fugitive from justice warrant issued by New York.
She looked glum as she was dressed in blue and red prison scrubs for the short hearing where she and her attorney Justin Tuttle agreed to her transportation to New York.
Ponsetto was arrested on a New York warrant Thursday afternoon following a brief car chase in her home state of California.
Hours earlier she had given a rambling interview with CBS’ Gayle King where she denied racism was a factor in the December attack and refused to admit she physically assaulted the teenage boy.
She did apologize for hurting his feelings but then snapped back at King telling her ‘enough’ as she was pressed on the incident.
Ponsetto was filmed tackling 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr – the son of Grammy-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold – to the ground at the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan back on December 26 after falsely accusing him of stealing her iPhone.
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The woman known as ‘Soho Karen’ will be extradited to New York City to face four charges over the incident where she was caught on video tackling a black teen to the ground of a Manhattan hotel and falsely accusing him of stealing her phone
Miya Ponsetto, 22, appeared in Ventura County court, California, via Zoom just after 2 p.m. local time Friday for her extradition hearing
Ponsetto spoke only once during Friday’s hearing, answering ‘yes’ when asked by Judge David M. Hirsch if she understood and agreed to her extradition.
Tuttle, the Los Angeles public defender representing Ponsetto after she parted ways with her initial attorney in recent days, agreed that the 22-year-old had ‘no objection’ to the extradition.
‘I did speak with Ms. Posetto prior to court, and that is correct, she has signed the waiver and she has no objection to being transported to New York,’ Tuttle said.
Her attorney did not request for her to be released on bail.
Ponsetto will be held in the Ventura County Jail until her date of extradition from California is finalized.
Hirsch said charges against Ponsetto in Ventura County will be heard in a court hearing later in April 6 2021.
It was not clear what those charges would be. However they may relate to the police chase that led to her arrest as well as possible violations of probation orders on her current rap sheet.
In her interview with King, which aired on Friday, Ponsetto denied that racism was a factor in the December attack and apologized for making the teen feel ‘inferior’.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ponsetto admitted she could have handled the situation different but stopped short of admitting she physically attacked the teen despite footage of her appearing to grab him.
The NYPD released surveillance footage of Ponsetto tackling 14-year-old Keyon Jr to the ground in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel after she accused him of stealing her iPhone
Ponsetto was dubbed ‘SoHo Karen’ after she was seen in a now-viral video (left) falsely accusing African American jazz artist Keyon Harrold’s son Keyon Jr. (right) of stealing her iPhone at the Arlo Hotel
After being told she should have known better and asked if she actually understood her actions, Ponsetto snapped at King, telling her: ‘Alright Gail, enough.’
‘I admit, yes, I could have approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that and made him feel, you know, like some sort of inferior way… making him feel like I was hurting his feelings,’ she said.
‘That’s not my intention, I consider myself to be super sweet.
‘I don’t feel like this one mistake defines me. I do sincerely from the bottom of my heart apologize if I made the son feel as if I assaulted him or if I hurt his feelings, or the father’s feelings.’
When asked about her physically attacking the teen, Ponsetto repeated previous claims that the boy’s father actually attacked her.
‘The footage shows me attacking his son, attacking him how? Yelling at him, yes. OK, I apologize. Can we move on,’ she said.
The 22-year-old woman caught on camera allegedly physically attacking a 14-year-old Black teen and falsely accusing him of stealing her phone was arrested in California.
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 8, 2021
Miya Ponsetto, 22, gave a rambling interview alongside her lawyer with CBS’ Gayle King just hours before being arrested on Thursday in her home state of California on a New York warrant
After being told she should have known better and asked if she actually understood her actions, Ponsetto snapped at King (above), telling her: ‘Alright Gail, enough’
Ponsetto spoke only once during Friday’s hearing, answering ‘yes’ when asked by Judge David M. Hirsch if she understood and agreed to her extradition
The Harrold family have claimed the incident was racially motivated but Ponsetto denied this.
She admitted that she didn’t stop everyone in the hotel lobby when she believed her phone had been stolen.
‘I was approaching the people that had been exiting the hotel – because in my mind, anybody exiting might be the one trying to steal my phone,’ she said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Ponsetto referenced racism, saying: ‘Basically I am a 22-year-old girl. Racism, how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime. Where is the context in that?’
The 22-year-old was taken into custody on a warrant from New York on Thursday after a brief car chase with police in Ventura County, California
Ponsetto was taken into custody on a New York warrant on Thursday after a brief car chase with police in Ventura County, California.
The New York Police Department had flown detectives out to California a day earlier with a warrant for Ponsetto’s arrest over the violent incident at the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan.
Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Ponsetto after spotting her driving near her home in Piru, northwest of Los Angeles.
Authorities said she drove two blocks before finally stopping her vehicle but then refused to get out of the car.
‘She tried to slam the door on one of the deputies and that’s when they just reached in and forcibly removed her,’ Ventura County Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Buschow said.
Senior Det. Dominguez with the Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit said he had read Ponsetto her rights when he arrested her and that she had signed a waiver agreeing to her extradition, according to New York Daily News
The sheriff’s office are now asking county prosecutors in California to also charge her with resisting arrest.
‘SoHo Karen’ Miya Ponsetto (pictured) was arrested in Ventura County, California, on Thursday. She is pictured above on Saturday
Her arrest came after days of intense media coverage of the fracas at the hotel and demands by the teen’s family and activists that Ponsetto face criminal charges.
In a video recorded by the teen’s father, Ponsetto was seen pushing and grabbing both father and son.
She was recorded demanding the teenager’s phone, claiming he had stolen it from her.
Harrold Sr can be heard in the recording telling Ponsetto to leave his son alone.
Security video later released by the NYPD shows Ponsetto frantically grabbing at the teen as he tried to get away from her through the hotel’s front door. She’s seen clutching him from behind before both tumble to the ground.
Moments after the scuffle ended, her missing phone was found in an Uber and returned to her by the driver, Harrold Sr has said.
NYPD detectives flew to California to help locate her after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance signed off on charges of attempted robbery and felony fugitive from justice.
The altercation drew comparisons to cases like that of Amy Cooper, a white woman who was charged with filing a false report for calling 911 and saying she was being threatened by ‘an African American man’ during a dispute in New York’s Central Park in May.
His parents have said her arrest is ‘a start’.
‘I pray for her. In the context of all the excuses her attorney made, at this point it’s not even about an apology any more,’ the teen’s father told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.
The teen has been in music therapy ever since the incident, his family say.
Ponsetto’s lawyer, Sharen Ghatan, told The Associated Press in an interview before the arrest that her client is ’emotionally unwell’ and remorseful for the ordeal.
Ghatan said she spoke to her client earlier on Thursday and that ‘she strikes me as someone who’s unwell.’
She said Ponsetto ‘lashed out’ over worry about her phone disappearing and that it wasn’t racially motivated.
It ‘could have been anyone,’ she said.
A lawyer for Ponsetto claimed that she was having an anxiety attack during the incident and insisted that it was not racially motivated
Police says sources led deputies on a brief car chase and tried to close a door on a deputy’s leg before she was taken into custody near her home. She is pictured above at the weekend
On Wednesday, Ghatan had claimed that Ponsetto was having an anxiety attack during the hotel incident and insisted that it was not racially motivated.
‘Miya is young, She let her emotions get the best of her. That phone could have been in the hand of 90-year-old grandma, an Asian person.. someone black or blue. It wasn’t a race related issue. Things took a life of their own,’ Ghatan told NBC.
The lawyer explained that Ponsetto, who is from California, had been traveling alone while visiting her father in New York City for Christmas.
She had been relying on her phone to help her navigate the city and became nervous and ‘triggered’ after realizing she had lost it.
‘She was a scared girl alone in a city she doesn’t know and lost her one point of contact for her numbers. She lost her mind for a hot minute. She is sorry,’ Ghatan said.
She said Ponsetto has since acknowledged that she lost her temper and acted inappropriately and ‘wouldn’t do it again’. She now wants to ‘give peace to the family’ and apologize.
Lawyer Sharen Ghatan explained Ponsetto, who is from California, had been visiting her father in New York City for Christmas and was nervous about being alone in a strange city
Harrold Sr. and Keyon Jr.’s mother, Kat Rodriguez, held a rally in Manhattan for their son on Wednesday, alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump (right) and Rev. Al Sharpton (left)
Ghatan said she and Ponsetto have contacted attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the Harrold family, in hopes of arranging a meeting but have yet to hear back.
‘It’s horrible, what happened. She certainly should not have done that. She has some things she has to work through with herself, control issues, anger management issues. Of course she knows that,’ Ghatan said.
‘She wants to clarify and give peace to the family. She’s mixed race. She specifically said it’s not about race. The way she talks, it’s not even an issue. It was the phone.’
The lawyer denied accusations that Ponsetto was a ‘lady of privilege’, adding that she is of Puerto Rican descent who works ‘9-5 at a typical place’.
Ponsetto plans to address the controversy publicly when the time is right, but is ‘fragile’ at the moment.
Ponsetto’s mother and her attorney have expressed concern over her well-being, telling TMZ she has gone off the grid and has not been responding to messages.
They told the tabloid she has received threats and even visits to her home from strangers.
Thursday’s arrest isn’t the first time Ponsetto has had a brush with law enforcement.
Court records obtained by TMZ showed Ponsetto was arrested twice for driving under the influence of alcohol last year – once in May and again in October.
Those incidents followed a separate arrest back in February when she and her mother were charged for drunkenly refusing to leave a hotel in Los Angeles.
Miya Ponsetto was spotted making a food run to McDonald’s last Saturday when she was stopped by a reporter