Just days after her attorney said she knew she had to work on her “anger management issues,” Miya Ponsetto resisted when arrested at her California home for assaulting a Black teen in New York, according to authorities. Earlier that day, Ponsetto did a virtual interview with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King.
Wearing a hat with the word “Daddy” emblazoned across it, Ponsetto said she approached anyone she thought might be guilty of stealing her phone. She also reiterated that her accusation of Harrold Jr. was not racially motivated.
“I admit, yes, I could have approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that, and made him feel some sort of inferior way and 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, ever meant for it to like hurt him or his father either.”
When King pressed her about understanding the harm caused by her “extreme reaction” to Harrold Jr., Ponsetto defaulted to stating her age and said she didn’t understand how she committed a crime.
“I’m a 22-year-old girl, racism, how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime? Where is the context in that? What is the deeper story here?” Ponsetto asked.
She added, “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 the father’s feelings.”
Near the end of the clip aired by CBS, Ponsetto takes a defensive posture when pressed by King. In response, Ponsetto cuts King off, saying “All right Gayle, enough.” The gesture immediately caught the attention of Ponsetto’s lawyer, who tried to rein in her client, whispering “stop, stop.”
The interaction amused many on social media who joked that King was likely the one who alerted authorities to Ponsetto’s location. “After watching that interview I’m sure Gayle King is the one that gave the police Miya’s location. It was that shushing motion that did her in,” wrote one Twitter user who garnered numerous reactions.
Others joked that Ponsetto’s own attorney may have beaten King to the punch. “That interview was so rough. The sushing, the lying, the hat. All of it. Her lawyer must really hate her,” added another.
One way or another, Ponsetto was in police custody just hours later. A press release following her arrest stated, “Sheriff’s deputies contacted Miya Ponsetto during a traffic stop near her home in Piru. She did not stop for deputies until she reached her residence, and she refused to get out of the car. Deputies forcibly removed her from the vehicle and arrested her for the outstanding warrant.” Authorities also said Ponsetto tried to slam the car door on a deputy during the arrest.
Widely known as “SoHo Karen,” Ponsetto, 22, was arrested on Thursday, Jan. 7, by the NYPD and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in California.
Ponsetto rose to infamy after viral video footage from Manhattan’s Arlo Hotel on Dec. 26 showed her falsely accusing jazz musician Keyon Harrold Sr.’s 14-year-old son of stealing her iPhone, then tackling him. Her phone was eventually returned by an Uber driver whose vehicle she’d left it in.
Her attorney in unrelated cases, Sharon Ghatan, had just gone on record with several media outlets stating how “very sorry” Ponsetto was for the incident. She also said Ponsetto was “young” in an “emotional, anxious state,” adding she knew she “made a mistake” in assaulting Keyon Harrold Jr. She added the attack was not racially motivated.
The Harrold family said Ponsetto’s apology was not good enough, noting they thought it insincere.
“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. Someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin. What it is about is significant, societal change,” Harrold Sr. and his wife Kat Rodriguez said in a statement through their attorney Benjamin Crump.
“Miya will be dealt with by law enforcement, and hopefully be charged with the assault of our child. We are not interested in what she has to say, in her feigning remorse, and we certainly will not provide her a public platform and audience to do as much,” Harrold Sr. and Rodriguez’s statement continued. “Our energy right now is directed at the healing of our son, and in bringing attention to the larger societal issues that led to the disgusting physical and verbal attack that continues to traumatize our family.”
Before her arrest, more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for Ponsetto to be taken into custody. According to authorities, Ponsetto was booked into a pre-trial detention facility in Ventura and is being held without bail. She will remain in custody until she is extradited to New York.
Ghatan told TMZ on Thursday that Ponsetto has refused to heed her advice. “Miya has not grasped the severity of her circumstances. She is expressly disregarding advice and has gone rogue,” Ghatan said. “I had an in-person meeting with Miya today, and after seeing her in person, I was able to determine she is simply unwell. She is emotionally and mentally fragile. I was forced to cancel national interviews due to my concern of her wellbeing and lack of understanding of the process. I am here to guide her as legal counsel — but if she is unwilling to take my advice, there is not much more I can do.”
King said the remainder of Ponsetto’s interview with her will be aired Monday, Jan. 11.