Miya Ponsetto, the woman dubbed as "SoHo Karen" for falsely accusing and attacking a 14-year-old black teen in the lobby of a Manhattan hotel in a viral video last month has been arrested in California.
Ponsetto was caught on video accusing Grammy-winning artist Keyon Harrold's teenage son of stealing her iPhone at the Arlo Hotel in SoHo, as previously reported. The video footage, shared by Harrold shows Ponsetto allegedly assaulting his son and trying to snatch his phone.
According to Harold, hours after the incident was recorded the woman's phone was returned to her by an Uber driver. Ponsetto is now facing attempted robbery charges, according to law enforcement sources.
The incident drew comparisons to a similar instance of black people being accused of crimes they did not commit, including an incident in May, when a white woman named Amy Cooper called 911 to falsely claim that a black bird-watched was threatening her life after he asked her to leash her dog.
Lawyer Claims Ponsetto is Half-Puerto Rican and Half-Vietnamese
Shortly after Ponsetto's arrest, her lawyer, Sharen H. Ghatan, told the New York Times that although her client was the woman in the Arlo hotel video, she regretted her actions and wanted to apologize in person to Mr. Harrold and his family.
Ghatan also noted that Ponsetto was not targeting Harrold or his son because of their race. He added that her client is actually ofPuerto Rican and Vietnamese descent and does not identify as white.
"She's not trying to make any racial statement," Ghatan said. "She's a female herself of mixed cultural descent. She's not some blond-haired, blue eyed privileged white lady. She literally just wanted to get her phone back."
Ponsetto's Acting Profile Surfaces
In the wake of the racist incident, Internet sleuths did some digging and managed to track down Ponsetto's acting profile on Explore Talent - an online platform for aspiring actors to find performing opportunities and jobs. The profile listed Ponsetto's ethnicity as Caucasian alongside other stats. Some users even pointed out that Ponsetto is a common Italian surname.
"Sounds like she's a woman of color when it's convenient and trots out her Caucasian privilege when that's convenient," wrote one user, while another commented, "Woman with Italian surname self-identifies as "Caucasian" for years on her, uh, "talent" profile, and then distances herself from being called "white" so doesn't come across as a racist. She deserves to rot in jail."