In a contentious interview with Gayle King that aired on “CBS This Morning” on Friday, a 22-year-old woman caught on camera allegedly attacking a 14-year-old Black teen denied accusations of racial profiling. King conducted the exclusive interview with Miya Ponsetto and her attorney on Thursday — hours before she was arrested.
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
Footage taken by the teen’s father shows Ponsetto aggressively yelling at and pursuing Keyon Harrold Jr., for allegedly stealing her phone at a New York City hotel. Security camera footage also appears to depict Ponsetto tackling the teen. Her phone turned up at the hotel moments later.
In the interview, which has now gone viral, Ponsetto donned a black baseball cap with the word “Daddy,” which King said Ponsetto’s attorney asked her to remove. As King pressed her to directly address the accusations against her, Ponsetto curtly replied, “Alright, Gayle, enough,” after which her lawyer turned to her and said, “No, stop, stop.”
Ponsetto has come under fire on social media for her aggressive demeanor during the tense interview.
Ponsetto also said during the interview that she could have handled the situation better and considers herself to be a “sweet” person. She justified her actions by saying she was alone in the city and lost the only method by which she would be able to contact and visit her relatives for the holidays.
Ponsetto circumvented directly addressing issues of racism and profiling, by stating that she was “doing her part” in helping the hotel staff track down her phone, although she admits she was not stopping everyone leaving the lobby.
“I am a 22-year-old girl … racism … how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?” she said.
In response to King saying the footage shows Ponsetto “going nuts, for lack of a better term,” Ponsetto said, “I don’t feel that’s who I am as a person. I don’t feel like this one mistake does define me, but I do sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, apologize that if I made the son feel as if I assaulted him or if I hurt his feelings or his father’s feelings.”