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Attorney of woman who accused Black teen of stealing her phone denies race was involved

Attorney of woman who accused Black teen of stealing her phone denies race was involved
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The attorney of the woman who tackled a Black teen while falsely accusing him of stealing her iPhone is speaking out about the incident, saying it "wasn’t a race-related issue," NBC News reports.

Attorney Sharon Ghatan, who represents the 22-year-old white instigator Miya Ponsetto, said during a phone call this week that her client "let her emotions get the best of her" since she is "young." Race, she alleges, wasn't a factor in Ponsetto's actions.

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

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Ponsetto mistakenly believed 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr., the son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold, stole her iPhone, and tackled him in an attempt to retrieve it. Surveillance footage of the encounter at the Arlo SoHo boutique hotel in New York City was later released by NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison. 

"On Saturday, December 26, the woman in this video falsely accused an innocent 14-year-old teenager of stealing her cellphone," Harrison tweeted at the time. "She then proceeded to physically attack him and fled the location before police officers arrived on scene."

Harrold's lawyer previously spoke on the incident, calling for charges to be pressed against Ponsetto and for a "civil rights investigation."