Mia Ponsetto was arrested after she accused a 14-year-old black teenager of stealing her phone.
A woman who falsely accused a dark-skinned teenager of stealing her phone and then grabbed it at a New York City hotel has been arrested in her home state of California, Aljazeera writes.
Mia Ponsetto, 22, was booked into jail Thursday in Ventura County, a spokesman for the local sheriff’s office said. It wasn’t immediately clear what charges she might face.
Earlier in the day, the NYPD sent detectives to California with a warrant for Ponsetto’s arrest. The arrest followed days of intense media coverage of the hotel scandal and demands by the teenager’s family and activists for criminal charges.
Ponsetto’s lawyer, Sheren Ghathan, said in an interview before her arrest that her client was “emotionally unwell” and regretted her Dec. 26 conflict with 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. at the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan.
The teen’s father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, recorded the moment of the conflict and posted the video online.
His video shows an agitated woman demanding the teenager’s phone, claiming he stole it. The hotel manager tries to intervene. In the footage, Keyon Harrold can be heard telling the woman to leave his son alone. Ghathan confirmed that Ponsetto is the woman in the video. .
Surveillance video, later released by the NYPD, shows Ponsetto desperately grabbing the girl as she tries to run away from her through the front door of the hotel. She is seen clutching him from behind before they both fall to the ground.
According to Harrold, Ponsetto’s missing phone was actually left at the Uber and was returned shortly thereafter by the driver.
The altercation has been compared to similar cases involving Amy Cooper, a white woman who was charged with making a false report of a 911 call and claiming she was threatened by an “African-American” during a conflict in Central Park, New York, in May.
Ventura County sheriff’s deputies arrested aly Ponsetto after spotting her driving near her home in Piru, northwest of Los Angeles, said Department Capt. Eric Bushaw.