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Manhattan Judge slams ‘SoHo Karen’ after she fails to show for virtual court appearance

Manhattan Judge slams 'SoHo Karen' after she fails to show for virtual court appearance 2

A woman infamously dubbed as ‘SoHo Karen’ for falsely accusing a black teen of stealing her phone in an upscale Manhattan hotel was a no-show for a hearing that is part of a civil case against her, angering a judge.

Miya Ponsetto, 23, made headlines after she attack 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr in the lobby of the boutique Arlo Soho hotel on December 26, 2020, and falsely accusing him of stealing her iPhone.  

In a video filmed by his father, Keyon Harrold, who is also a prominent jazz musician,  an agitated Ponsetto demands the teenager hand over his phone, claiming he stole it from her . 

A hotel manager tries to intervene as Harrold Snr tells the woman to leave his son alone. 

Security video later released by the NYPD shows Ponsetto frantically grabbing at the teenager from behind as he tried to escape through the hotel’s front door, with both falling to the floor.

It was later revealed that Ponsetto’s had actually left her phone in an Uber, with the driver returning it to her shortly after, Harrold Sr said.

On Monday, a virtual hearing for the civil lawsuit filed against Ponsetto filed by the Harrolds took place without the young woman – prompting a furious response by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Slomo Hagler. 

‘There are ways to deal with this type of situation, and not showing up is one of them,’ the judge said.

‘That’s the worst thing you can do… It shows disrespect.’ 

'Soho Karen' Miya Ponsetto, 23, failed to show up in the civil case against her regarding her December 2020 attack on a 14-year-old teen for falsely stealing her iPhone

‘Soho Karen’ Miya Ponsetto, 23, failed to show up in the civil case against her regarding her December 2020 attack on a 14-year-old teen for falsely stealing her iPhone

Ponsetto falsely alleged that 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr (left) stole her phone at the Arlo Hotel in Soho. Harrold Jr is the son of Grammy award-winning jazz musician Kenyon Harrold

Ponsetto falsely alleged that 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr (left) stole her phone at the Arlo Hotel in Soho. Harrold Jr is the son of Grammy award-winning jazz musician Kenyon Harrold

Hotel surveillance video shows the attack taking place in the lobby

Ponsetto physically assaulted the teen, putting him on the ground

Security video released by the NYPD shows Ponsetto on December 26, 2020, frantically grabbing Harrold Jr as he tried to get away from her through the hotel’s front door. She’s seen clutching him from behind before both tumble to the ground. 

Ponsetto did not hire an attorney for her defense and has not made any comments regarding the lawsuit since it was filed last year.

The judge — making it known that he will ‘wait for no man’ — said he would not put the case on hold due to Ponsetto’s no-show, and proceeded to schedule filings for depositions and discovery for both parties. 

Grammy award-winning Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold and his son filed a lawsuit against Ponsetto and the Arlo Soho Hotel in March 2021.

Jeffrey Van Etten, an attorney representing the hotel and a worker who restrained Harrold, suggested during Monday’s hearing that Ponsetto may not have shown up in court due to an ongoing criminal case against her over the same incident. 

In January 2022, Ponsetto defended her actions in a television interview conducted hours before she was arrested in California – her state of residence – by the New York Police Department, which had sent detectives to the West Coast with a warrant for the young woman’s arrest. 

The trip followed days of intense media coverage of the fracas at the hotel and demands by the teen’s family and activists that she face criminal charges. 

‘I consider myself to be super sweet,’ Ponsetto told ‘CBS This Morning’ on January 7. ‘I don’t feel that that is who I am as a person. I don’t feel like this one mistake does define me,’ she added. 

‘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.’

Ponsetto was arrested in January in California, where NYPD officials had sent detectives with a warrant for the young woman's arrest.Pictured: Ponsetto during a virtual court appearance on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in New York

Ponsetto was arrested in January in California, where NYPD officials had sent detectives with a warrant for the young woman’s arrest.Pictured: Ponsetto during a virtual court appearance on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in New York

Ponsetto aka ' Soho Karen ' appears in Manhattan Supreme Court, facing criminal charges against false claims she attacked Harrold Jr inside the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan when she accused him of stealing her phone without reasonable cause to believe so

Ponsetto aka ‘ Soho Karen ‘ appears in Manhattan Supreme Court, facing criminal charges against false claims she attacked Harrold Jr inside the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan when she accused him of stealing her phone without reasonable cause to believe so

The 23-year-old, whose plea is not yet known, is facing several charges, including unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime. She is also negotiating for a plea deal to be struck with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office that would nullify any jail time.

Meanwhile, Ellie Silverman, the Harrold’s lawyer, confirmed that the family would be pursuing a default judgement against Ponsetto in the case.

The defendant could still hire an attorney at any given point, even when her criminal issues are resolved. 

Ponsetto is facing charges of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, along with hotel worker Chad Nathan. The hotel is being accused of negligence and negligent hiring. 

The lawsuit states that Nathan ‘stopped the plaintiffs while assisting Ponsetto, who was agitated and aggressive, and baselessly accusing Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her cellphone.’ 

‘The plaintiffs were falsely accused because they were African American, and Defendant Nathan assumed they were guilty,’ court documents show.

The hotel, itself, is being accused of treating ‘plaintiffs differently from other guests and invitees in a place of public accommodation because of their race,’ according to court documents. 

The 2020 attacked made Harrold Jr feel ‘humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, feelings of racial stigmatization [and] an increased sense of vulnerability,’ court papers reveal. 

The teen and his family are also seeking unspecified damages. 

The Arlo Hotel in Soho, New York City, where the incident took place in December 2020. The hotel manager that day, Cash Nathan, is also facing charges in the lawsuit

The Arlo Hotel in Soho, New York City, where the incident took place in December 2020. The hotel manager that day, Cash Nathan, is also facing charges in the lawsuit

In the CBS interview from January, she also said she had been approaching people exiting the hotel, thinking she was doing her part as Nathan reviewed video footage.

‘I admit, yes, I could have approached the situation differently,’ she said, recalling that she yelled at the teenager because the phone she lost had information she needed to return home after visiting family during the holidays.

She said she admitted yelling at him.

‘OK. I apologize. Can we move on?’ she told the morning program, insisting she saw no crime.

‘How is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?’ she asked.

Since the incident, Ponsetto has been consulting therapy, according to her criminal-defense attorney – Sharen Ghatan.

DailyMail.com has contacted Ponsetto and her lawyer for comment.

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