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Soho Karen Miya Ponsetto leaves Newark International Airport and heads back to California

‘Soho Karen’ Miya Ponsetto was spotted at an airport in New Jersey ahead of her flight back to California on Sunday morning just a day after she was arraigned on assault charges for attacking 14-year-old Keyon Harrold Jr. 

Ponsetto left her hotel around 8.15am when she boarded the hotel’s airport shuttle that took her to the Newark Liberty International Airport. 

The 22-year-old, who accused Harrold of stealing her iPhone before being filmed attacking him last month, refused to answer any questions about the incident once she arrived at the airport where she was photographed waiting to pass through airport security.

She appeared to be wearing a crop top covered by a jean jacket, maroon leggings and her ‘Daddy’ cap. 

  

‘Soho Karen’ Miya Ponsetto was spotted at an airport in New Jersey ahead of her flight back to California on Sunday morning

Miya Ponsetto

Miya Ponsetto

Ponsetto was seen leaving her hotel around 8.15am when she boarded the hotel’s airport shuttle that took her to the Newark International Airport (pictured at the airport) 

The 22-year-old refused to answer any questions once she arrived at the airport where she was photographed waiting to pass through airport security

The 22-year-old refused to answer any questions once she arrived at the airport where she was photographed waiting to pass through airport security

Ponsetto is seen showing her identification and flight ticket to a TSA agent on Sunday

Ponsetto is seen showing her identification and flight ticket to a TSA agent on Sunday  

She appeared to be wearing a crop top covered by a jean jacket, maroon leggings and her 'Daddy' cap

She appeared to be wearing a crop top covered by a jean jacket, maroon leggings and her ‘Daddy’ cap

Ponsetto was on her way to Los Angeles when she was photographed at the Newark airport

Ponsetto was on her way to Los Angeles when she was photographed at the Newark airport 

On Saturday, Ponsetto arrived at her New Jersey hotel late after being arraigned for the attack on Harrold. 

She had been extradited from California to attend the hearing at Red Hook Justice Center in Brooklyn.

The judge ruled that she did not require bail – but ordered her to return to New York City for her next court date in March.

She was flown to the Big Apple on Friday ahead of her court date, and was pictured being led out of the NYPD’s First Precinct with cuffs around her wrists and ankles on Saturday afternoon as she was transported to Red Hook Justice Center.  

A source told New York Daily News that she underwent a medical screening in Red Hook because she had just flown in from California, where coronavirus cases are high.

Ponsetto was charged with four felonies of attempted robbery, endangering the welfare of a child, attempted grand larceny, and attempted assault. 

During the hearing, where she appeared before a video camera, Ponsetto repeated ‘Hi’ and asked; ‘Can you guys hear me?’ before the judge told her to stop. 

‘My recommendation is that you remain quiet right now,’ said Judge Michael Frishman.

Before flying back to California on Sunday, Ponsetto was seen arriving at her New Jersey hotel late Saturday

Before flying back to California on Sunday, Ponsetto was seen arriving at her New Jersey hotel late Saturday  

The 22-year-old, who had been extradited from California to attend the hearing at Red Hook Justice Center in Brooklyn, checked in wearing the same clothes she'd been in all day - a purple crop top, black leggings, and a knitted beanie

The 22-year-old, who had been extradited from California to attend the hearing at Red Hook Justice Center in Brooklyn, checked in wearing the same clothes she’d been in all day – a purple crop top, black leggings, and a knitted beanie

Ponsetto did not enter a plea during the proceeding, and was ordered to stay away from Harrold Jr. She attacked the teenager at the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan on December 26. His father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold intervened.

Judge Frishman said that under New York law, they could not impose bail on Ponsetto but warned her that she had to make all her court dates. 

She also faces public intoxication, drunk driving and motor vehicle charges in California.

‘Apparently, you have a lot of cases in California right now. You are gonna have to appear in all those court cases as well. Okay?’ he asked. 

Manhattan Assistant DA Sarah Marquez asked for the highest level of supervised release for Ponsetto for the attack which she called ‘unprovoked.’     

Ponsetto was ordered to attend Manhattan Criminal Court on March 29 for her next hearing. 

The hearing comes hours after she had been flown back to New York City after her extradition hearing in Ventura County, California. 

The lawyer for the victims, Ben Crump, celebrated the charges on Twitter.  

‘Miya Ponsetto was charged with 4 FELONIES for her horrific attack on 14yo Keyon Harrold Jr!’ he wrote.

‘This is a good development, but management of @ArloHotels — owned by Quadrum Global — gave power to Miya’s racist actions and must also be held accountable!!’ Crump wrote.

Ponsetto was led out of the NYPD's 1st Precinct in handcuffs on Saturday, ahead of her arraignment that afternoon

Ponsetto was led out of the NYPD’s 1st Precinct in handcuffs on Saturday, ahead of her arraignment that afternoon 

Miya Ponsetto

Miya Ponsetto

Prosecutors charged Ponsetto with four felonies of attempted robbery, endangering the welfare of a child, attempted grand larceny, and attempted assault 

Ponsetto was transported to Manhattan Criminal Court where she was arraigned Saturday afternoon

Ponsetto was transported to Manhattan Criminal Court where she was arraigned Saturday afternoon 

Police arrested Ponsetto on a fugitive from justice warrant issued by New York Thursday afternoon following a brief car chase in her home state of California. 

Ventura County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Ponsetto after spotting her driving near her home in Piru, northwest of Los Angeles. 

Authorities said she drove two blocks before finally stopping her vehicle but then refused to get out of the car. 

‘She tried to slam the door on one of the deputies and that’s when they just reached in and forcibly removed her,’ Ventura County Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Buschow said. 

Senior Det Dominguez with the Sheriff’s Fugitive Unit said he had read Ponsetto her rights when he arrested her and that she had signed a waiver agreeing to her extradition, according to New York Daily News  

The sheriff’s office are now asking county prosecutors in California to also charge her with resisting arrest.     

On Friday, she appeared during a California court hearing by video. She spoke only once answering ‘yes’ when asked by Judge David M. Hirsch if she understood why she was there and then agreed to her extradition.

Tuttle, the Los Angeles public defender representing Ponsetto after she parted ways with her initial attorney, Sharen H. Ghatan, in recent days, agreed that the woman had ‘no objection’ to the extradition.

‘I did speak with Ms Ponsetto prior to court, and that is correct, she has signed the waiver and she has no objection to being transported to New York,’ Tuttle said. 

Her attorney did not request for her to be released on bail.  

Hirsch said charges against Ponsetto in Ventura County will be heard in a court hearing later on April 6, 2021. 

Ponsetto was dubbed 'SoHo Karen' after she was seen in a now-viral video (pictured) attacking African American jazz artist Keyon Harrold's son Keyon Jr

Ponsetto accused Keyon Jr (pictured) of stealing her phone

Ponsetto was dubbed ‘SoHo Karen’ after she was seen in a video (left) falsely accusing African American jazz artist Keyon Harrold’s son Keyon Jr (right) of stealing her iPhone at the Arlo Hotel on December 26 

The NYPD released surveillance footage of Ponsetto tackling Keyon Jr to the ground in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel after she accused him of stealing her iPhone

The NYPD released surveillance footage of Ponsetto tackling Keyon Jr to the ground in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel after she accused him of stealing her iPhone

It was not clear what those charges would be. However they may relate to the police chase that led to her arrest as well as possible violations of probation orders on her current rap sheet.     

Ghatan had previously said that Ponsetto’s mental health is particularly fragile.

‘I’m very concerned about her mental health and wellbeing because for her to start an interview with such a defiant tone, disregarding everything she’s saying, including myself, and I’m here for her best interest, concerned me greatly,’ Ghatan said.

‘She’s just not well. I am not a psychiatrist… She’s not well, that is all I can say. She needs help, and it is not the type of help I can give.’ 

Ghatan added that Ponsetto was the most challenging client she has had to deal with in a long time.

‘Out of a hundred clients, you might get one that doesn’t listen, the other 99 want to listen. She happens to be the one.

‘I am uncertain as to how I’m going to proceed,’ Ghatan revealed. ‘I’m uncertain if I can proceed forward with a client who is unwilling and unaccepting of the legal advice I’m giving her.’ 

Ghatan now no longer represents Ponsetto.

Hours before her arrest on Thursday she had given a rambling interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King where she denied racism was a factor in the December attack and refused to admit she physically assaulted the teenage boy.

In her interview, Ponsetto apologized for making the teen feel ‘inferior’.

She admitted she could have handled the situation differently but stopped short of acknowledging she attacked the teen, despite footage to the contrary. 

Ponsetto also apologized for hurting the boy’s feelings but then suddenly snapped back at King telling her ‘Alright Gayle, enough’ as she was pressed on the incident and told she was ‘old enough to know better’.  

Lawyer Sharen Ghatan explained Ponsetto, who is from California, had been visiting her father in New York City for Christmas and was nervous about being alone in a strange city

Lawyer Sharen Ghatan explained Ponsetto, who is from California, had been visiting her father in New York City for Christmas and was nervous about being alone in a strange city

Harrold Sr and Keyon Jr's mother, Kat Rodriguez, held a rally in Manhattan for their son on Wednesday, alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump (right) and Rev Al Sharpton (left)

Harrold Sr and Keyon Jr’s mother, Kat Rodriguez, held a rally in Manhattan for their son on Wednesday, alongside civil rights attorney Ben Crump (right) and Rev Al Sharpton (left)

‘I don’t feel like this one mistake does define me,’ Ponsetto said. ‘I consider myself to be super sweet. I’m a 22-year-old girl… how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime?’ 

Ponsetto revealed how she did not stop everyone in the hotel lobby when she believed her phone had been stolen.

‘I was approaching the people that had been exiting the hotel – because in my mind, anybody exiting might be the one trying to steal my phone,’ she said. 

When asked about her physically attacking the teen, Ponsetto repeated previous claims that the boy’s father actually attacked her.

‘The footage shows me attacking his son, attacking him how? Yelling at him, yes. OK, I apologize. Can we move on?’ she said.  

Ghatan also told Ponsetto not to wear the black baseball cap emblazoned with the word ‘Daddy’ on it for the CBS interview. 

‘The hat definitely wasn’t chosen by me,’ Ghatan told The Daily Beast who also revealed that she decided to cancel other planned interviews after realizing what a train wreck the CBS one had been.

‘My office gave her advice on what to wear. We asked her to wear professional attire. When she came to the interview, I told her the baseball hat wouldn’t be something we could use in the interview. One because of the lighting, two because of the logo. She was very defiant and insistent that she wear it. I specifically asked her to remove it before the interview. She said it’s her story, it’s her hat, and she wants to wear it. She’s a very challenging client.’      

Speaking about the interview, Ghatan revealed that she tried to reign Ponsetto in. 

Ponsetto's lawyer (right) has said she is concerned for her client's mental health after Ponsetto (left) gave a rambling television interview hours before she was arrested

Ponsetto’s lawyer (right) has said she is concerned for her client’s mental health after Ponsetto (left) gave a rambling television interview hours before she was arrested 

‘I interrupted Miya several times, and I intervened several times. I made statements and tried my best, but she would cut me off and stop. It put me at a disadvantage to help her.’  

Ponsetto’s arrest came after days of intense media coverage of the fracas at the hotel and demands by the teen’s family and activists that Ponsetto face criminal charges. 

The Harrold family have claimed the incident was racially motivated but Ponsetto has denied this. 

In a video recorded by the teen’s father, Ponsetto was seen pushing and grabbing both father and son.

She was recorded demanding the teenager’s phone, claiming he had stolen it from her. 

Harrold Sr can be heard in the recording telling Ponsetto to leave his son alone. 

Security video later released by the NYPD shows Ponsetto frantically grabbing at the teen 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. 

Moments after the scuffle ended, her missing phone was found in an Uber and returned to her by the driver, Harrold Sr has said.    

Ponsetto was taken into custody on a warrant from New York on Thursday after a brief car chase with police in California

Ponsetto was taken into custody on a warrant from New York on Thursday after a brief car chase with police in California

NYPD detectives flew to California to help locate her after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance signed off on charges of attempted robbery and felony fugitive from justice. 

The altercation drew comparisons to cases like that of Amy Cooper, a white woman who was charged with filing a false report for calling 911 and saying she was being threatened by ‘an African American man’ during a dispute in New York’s Central Park in May. 

His parents have said her arrest is ‘a start’.

‘I pray for her. In the context of all the excuses her attorney made, at this point it’s not even about an apology any more,’ the teen’s father told ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday.

The teen has been in music therapy ever since the incident, his family say. 

Ghatan told The Associated Press in an interview before the arrest that her client is ’emotionally unwell’ and remorseful for the ordeal. Ghatan said she spoke to her client earlier on Thursday and that ‘she strikes me as someone who’s unwell’.

She said Ponsetto ‘lashed out’ over worry about her phone disappearing and that it wasn’t racially motivated.

It ‘could have been anyone,’ she said. 

On Wednesday, Ghatan had claimed that Ponsetto was having an anxiety attack during the hotel incident and insisted that it was not racially motivated.  

‘Miya is young, She let her emotions get the best of her. That phone could have been in the hand of 90-year-old grandma, an Asian person.. someone black or blue. It wasn’t a race related issue. Things took a life of their own,’ Ghatan told NBC.  

The lawyer explained that Ponsetto had been traveling alone while visiting her father in New York City for Christmas. 

She had been relying on her phone to help her navigate the city and became nervous and ‘triggered’ after realizing she had lost it. 

‘She was a scared girl alone in a city she doesn’t know and lost her one point of contact for her numbers. She lost her mind for a hot minute. She is sorry,’ Ghatan said.   

She said Ponsetto has since acknowledged that she lost her temper and acted inappropriately and ‘wouldn’t do it again’. She now wants to ‘give peace to the family’ and apologize.

Ghatan previously said that she and Ponsetto contacted Crump, who is representing the Harrold family, in hopes of arranging a meeting but hadn’t heard back. 

‘It’s horrible, what happened. She certainly should not have done that. She has some things she has to work through with herself, control issues, anger management issues. Of course she knows that,’ Ghatan said.

‘She wants to clarify and give peace to the family. She’s mixed race. She specifically said it’s not about race. The way she talks, it’s not even an issue. It was the phone.’   

The lawyer denied accusations that Ponsetto was a ‘lady of privilege’, adding that she is of Puerto Rican descent who works ‘9-5 at a typical place’. 

Ponsetto’s arrest isn’t the first time she has had a brush with law enforcement. 

Court records obtained by TMZ showed Ponsetto was arrested twice for driving under the influence of alcohol last year – once in May and again in October.  

Those incidents followed a separate arrest back in February when she and her mother were charged for drunkenly refusing to leave a hotel in Los Angeles.   



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