“Soho Karen” Miya Ponsetto “never meant” to hurt the 14-year-old son of jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold at a Manhattan hotel, she claimed in an interview hours before her arrest in California, insisting she’s a “super sweet” person.
Ponsetto, 22, wearing a black cap with the word “Daddy,” was joined by her attorney Sharen Ghatan during a Thursday afternoon interview with Gayle King, aired on “CBS This Morning” Friday.
“I admit yes, I could have approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that or made him feel some sort of inferior way, making him feel as if I was like, hurting his feelings, because that’s not my intention,” Ponsetto said. “I consider myself to be super sweet. I really never, never meant for it to hurt him or his father either.”
King challenged Ponsetto’s description of herself as “super sweet,” based on the viral video — which shows Ponsetto allegedly attacking Keyon Harrold Jr. and trying to snatch his phone.
“How would you feel if you were alone in New York and you’re going to spend time with your family during the holidays and you lose the one thing that gets stolen from you that has all the access, the only way that you’re able to get back home?” Ponsetto replied.
When King asked if Ponsetto approached everyone in the lobby about her phone, she replied, “Not everyone.”
“Just the people that, in the meantime, while the hotel manager was checking the footage, I just wanted to do my part as best as I could,” she said.
Ponsetto also accused the teen’s father of “slamming me to the ground and pulling my hair and throwing me and dragging me across the ground, so I will say that,” to which King replied that she had just attacked his son.
“The footage shows me attacking his son. Attacking him how? Yelling at him? Yes,” she said, without addressing the physical assault. “OK, I apologize, can we move on?”
“Basically, I am a 22-year-old girl,” she added. “I don’t … racism is … how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime? Where is the context in that? What is the deeper story here?”
“You seem to have attacked this … young boy … this teenager about your phone, and then it turned out he didn’t even have your phone,” King replied. “That’s the thing. You’re saying, ‘Look, I’m 22 years old,’ you’re 22 years old, but you are old enough to know better.”
“Enough,” Ponsetto said, raising her hand in an attempt to cut King off, prompting her attorney to whisper to her.
“The hotel did end up having my phone, I did end up getting my belongings returned to me,” she said.
In a statement issued to CBS, the teen’s parents said that “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.”
“[Ponsetto is] someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin,” they said.
Hours after the interview, Ventura County deputies tried to pull Ponsetto over. She drove about three blocks before stopping at her Piru home — where she nearly slammed her car door on a deputy and ended up getting yanked from her ride, cops said.
She was booked at a pre-trial detention facility in Ventura, where she is being held without bail for the fugitive warrant, according to police.
She will remain there pending a hearing regarding her extradition to New York.