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SoHo Hotel Confrontation: Miya Ponsetto Arrested In California After Falsely Accusing Black Teen Of Stealing Cellphone

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The California woman who attacked a teenager after accusing him of stealing her phone is expected to be extradited back to New York City soon.

CBS2's Cory James has more on the woman police spent 12 days looking for.

It's a different look for 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto, who was seen in the viral video. Ponsetto was arrested in California after being capture on camera the day after Christmas tackling a 14-year-old boy inside the Arlo Hotel in SoHo.

Before being taken into custody, Ponsetto spoke exclusively with CBS This Morning's Gayle King, saying she believed the teenager had her phone that she claims was stolen.

"I was approaching the people that had been exiting the hotel," Ponsetto said.

"You seemed to attack this teenager about your phone and then it turned out he didn't even have your phone," King said.

"Alright Gayle, enough," Ponsetto said.

Attorney Ben Crump, representing the family of the teenager assaulted, reacted to Ponsetto's interview on Twitter.

Crump said in part "Miya Ponsetto's outrageous attack on 14-year-old Keyon Harrold, Jr. was enabled by Arlo Hotels owned by Quadrum Hotel."

"I just felt their response was poor," said hotel guest Brancy Chude, who was there at the time.

Chude agrees with Crump.

"There is so much security," Chude said. "So I felt she should have never had the opportunity to lay a hand on this poor kid."

James went to the hotel to get their side of the story, but a manager came out saying he could not comment. Later, a spokesperson said they called the police, but more could have been done to deescalate the situation.

Watch John Dias' report --

As CBS2's John Dias reports, in the CBS This Morning interview Miya Ponsetto said she considers herself a "super sweet person," and that this one mistake doesn't define her as a person.

"You are old enough to know better. So I will say, you're 22," King said.

"Enough. The hotel did have my phone. Stop, stop, stop. They did have my phone," Ponsetto said.

That's how the interview ended. How it began and throughout, there was arguably the same demeanor.

"Yeah, the footage shows me attacking his son of attacking him how yelling at him? Yes. Okay, I apologize. Can we move on?" Ponsetto said.

"I was approaching the people who were exiting the hotel," Ponsetto said. "How is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime context and that means what is the deeper, what is the deeper?"

"Yeah, it's not. That's not the problem. You have to at least understand your actions that day," King said.

And after denying wrongdoing at first, she did apologize multiple times in the interview.

"I admit, yes, I could have approached the situation differently, or not have yelled at him to feel inferior way, way of hurting his feelings," Ponsetto said.

Ponsetto also accused the teen's father of assaulting her.

"Slamming me to the ground and pulling my hair and throwing me and dragging me across the ground," she said.

"Yeah, but I think, you know, the video we saw, it looked like you had just attacked his son," King said.

Watch Cory James' report --

Ponsetto's attorney says her client appears to be emotionally unwell.

The family of the teenager released a statement that reads, in part, "Someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin. What it is about is significant, societal change. It's about a system that condones and emboldens racial profiling and considers Black people guilty until proven innocent."

Their full statement:

This is not about an apology from someone who until a few days ago was claiming she did nothing wrong, and in fact alleged Keyon Harrold Sr. had assaulted her. Someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin. What it is about is significant, societal change. It's about a system that condones and emboldens racial profiling and considers Black people guilty until proven innocent. A system, that exists and thrives because of institutions like the Arlo Hotel who enables the disturbing behavior of people like Miya Ponsetto, and instead of stopping the racist attack on our son, threw gasoline on the fire.

Miya will be dealt with by law enforcement, and hopefully be charged with the assault of our child. We are not interested in what she has to say, in her feigning remorse, and we certainly will not provide her a public platform and audience to do as much. Our energy right now is directed at the healing of our son, and in bringing attention to the larger societal issues that led to the disgusting physical and verbal attack that continues to traumatize our family.

This never should have happened. But the fact of the matter is, it did. We pray it is not in vain and brings us one step closer to living in a world where a 14-year-old Black child can enjoy brunch with his father without the threat of being profiled, targeted, falsely accused, and physically attacked.

Jessica Copeland, who watched the attack for the first time, believes there's another lesson to keep in mind.

"Don't attack people no matter what," she said.

Ponsetto faced a judge via video conference Friday, agreeing to be extradited back to New York to face multiple charges, including attempted robbery and attempted assault.

She is expected to appear in Manhattan criminal court for her arraignment after returning to New York City.

According to booking documents, she didn't comply with officers so "deputies forcibly removed her from the vehicle and arrested her."

Ponsetto has a prior record of public intoxication which happened at two different hotels last year.

Friday night, Ponsetto was released from the Ventura County Sheriff's custody. She is now in the custody of the NYPD.

Ponsetta argues her actions were not racially charged, saying she was visiting family in New York City and started to feel anxious when she couldn't find her phone to navigate the city.

Earlier this week, NYPD detectives flew out to speak with her and get a statement. CBS2 has learned they helped coordinate the arrest, but California police carried it out.


CBS2's Nick Caloway, Cory James and John Dias contributed to this report. 

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