A woman who tackled a Black teenager at a New York City hotel after accusing him of stealing her phone was arrested on Thursday by California police.

Miya Ponsetto, 22, was taken into custody in her home state and is jailed in Ventura County, KTLA reported.

She is currently being held without bail on a felony fugitive from justice charge, according to the jail. It is unclear what charges she will face back in New York. 


The New York Police Department (NYPD) flew detectives out to California earlier that day with a warrant for her arrest.

Ventura County Capt. Eric Buschow told the outlet that Ponsetto was seen driving near her home in Piru and refused to get out of her car for authorities.

“She tried to slam the door on one of the deputies and that’s when they just reached in and forcibly removed her,” he said, adding that the sheriff’s office would ask county prosecutors to charge her with resisting arrest.

The NYPD had been searching for Ponsetto, the 22-year-old instigator, following a Dec. 26 incident at the Arlo SoHo boutique hotel in New York City.

Surveillance footage showed Ponsetto physically attacking 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr., the son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold. 

The Harrolds said she confronted them in the hotel lobby and accused the Black teenager of stealing her cellphone.

In footage captured by the victims, Ponsetto can be seen repeatedly urging a hotel manager to grab the phone. As the father and son walk away in the video, the woman can be heard yelling “I’m not letting him walk away with my phone” before tackling the 14-year-old.

Harrold said the woman’s phone was reportedly returned to the hotel by an Uber driver “minutes” after the incident. 


The family has accused Ponsetto of racial profiling and their lawyer, Ben Crump, called for a civil rights investigation into the hotel.

“As this year of racial awareness is drawing to a close, it’s deeply troubling that incidents like this one, in which a Black child is viewed as and treated like a criminal, continue to happen,” Crump said in a statement.

Ponsetto’s attorney, Sharon Ghatan, insisted that her client’s actions were not biased, saying it “wasn’t a race-related issue.

"That phone could have been in hand of 90-year-old grandma, an Asian person ... someone Black or blue," she said.

Ghatan told KTLA on Thursday that Ponsetto "strikes me as someone who’s unwell.”