In a virtual interview that took place hours before she was arrested in California, Miya Ponsetto, 22, snapped "Enough!" at CBS This Morning host Gayle King as she held a defiant hand in the air.
On December 26, Ponsetto was seen on camera approaching a Black teen and his father, jazz musician Keyon Harrold, in the lobby of NYC's Arlo Hotel.
Ponsetto accused the 14-year-old boy, Keyon Harrold Jr., of stealing her phone, ultimately tackling him in an attempt to get the phone from him. (Her missing phone was later found at the hotel.)
Harrold captured the alleged assault in a one-minute video; it was also seen on the hotel's surveillance camera.
Harrold claims his son was the victim of racial profiling and harassment.
In an exclusive interview over Zoom on Thursday, Ponsetto — accompanied by her lawyer — tells Gayle King, "I admit, I could have approached the situation differently, or maybe not yelled at him like that or made him feel … inferior, or like I was hurting his feelings."
Ponsetto tells King she "considers [herself] to be super-sweet" and "really never meant for it to hurt him or his father."
When King says the encounter did not appear "sweet" from the video footage, Ponsetto protests, saying, "I don't feel that is who I am; I don't feel this one mistake defines me."
Ponsetto also accuses the teen's father of assaulting her, saying, "At the end of the day, the dad did end up slamming me to the ground and pulling my hair, and throwing me and dragging me across the ground. I will say that.” (Video footage of the incident does not corroborate those statements.)
When King presses her to admit her alleged actions were wrong, Ponsetto responds, "OK, so, basically I’m a 22-year-old girl. Racism, uh, is … how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?" eventually snapping, “alright Gayle, enough!” as her lawyer appears to chide her.
In a statement to CBS This Morning, Harrold Jr.'s parents said, “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.”
Ponsetto was arrested Thursday in California by the New York City Police Department, PEOPLE confirms.
She was detained on a fugitive warrant outside her residence in Piru, California.
“I’m not sure [she's] helping [herself] here,” King says to her CBS This Morning co-hosts after the interview footage aired.
King also claims Ponsetto refused to remove her black baseball cap — which bears the word “Daddy” — before the nationally televised interview.
“It’s a very sad story — there’s something sad about her, and the trauma she put a 14-year-old though, it’s not OK,” King says at the end of the segment.
CBS This Morning plans to run additional clips from the interview on Monday.
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