Who Is Miya Ponsetto? The Woman Who Falsely Accused A Teenage Black Man For Theft

The video went viral on social media and created a buzz with several people calling her out for badly treating a man because he was black.

Arunima Sharma
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Miya Ponsetto

Miya Ponsetto is a 22-year-old woman, she falsely accused a 14-year-old black male, who was the son of jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, of stealing her iPhone. The woman was caught on camera falsely accusing and attacking the boy in New York. The video went viral on social media and created a buzz with several people calling her out for badly treating a man because he was black.


The NYPD police identified the woman in the video as Miya Ponsetto. Ventura County officers and the New York City Police Department coordinated together to arrest Ponsetto, on a fugitive warrant in front of her home in Piru, California, on Thursday. Ventura County Sheriff's spokesperson told NBC News that when the police chased her she did not stop her car until she reached her home. Officers also said that they had to forcibly remove her from the car since she refused to get out of her car.

Ponsetto once apologised for her actions during an interview with the CBS news and later hedged the apology. At first, she said, " I don't feel like that is who I am as a person. I don't feel like this one mistake defines me. While on January 11, she accused the teenage boy again for theft. She said, " So, maybe it wasn't him but at the same time how is it so that as soon as I get asked to leave the premises after I had accused this person of stealing my phone, how is that all of a sudden they just miraculously have my phone at the back?"

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Ponsetto’s attorney Sharon Ghatan said that when she entered the hotel with the intention to check-in, she left a few of her items unattended in the lobby when she went to retrieve an item in the restroom. However, when she came out her phone was missing and she asked several people in the lobby whether they had taken the phone.

The woman also asked the Harrold’s about her phone with whom things escalated. The one-minute viral video shows the women roughly handling the teenage boy. The New York City police said the father “sustained scratches to his hand,” but no other injuries were reported. His father has suggested racial bias played a role in the altercation.

Ghatan defended Ponsetto by saying that the incident was not related to “race” and that the woman suffers from anxiety issues. He added, “She was alone … 22 years old in a city she doesn’t know, absolutely nobody there and her phone had everything about it.”


However, the attorney also confirmed that her client left the phone in Uber and said that if the Uber driver had returned the phone 15 minutes earlier the incident wouldn’t have happened.

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Ben Crump, the attorney representing the other side posted a petition which was signed by 1 lakh people. He called for Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. to bring assault and battery charges against Ponsetto. “Keyon Harrold Jr. will live with this trauma for life, the weight of racism on the shoulders of another generation,” Crump wrote in a statement. “He deserves better than this treatment!” The case is under investigation.

Racism Black male Falsely accused Miya Ponsetto video viral