The 22-year old was “forcibly” detained by Ventura County deputies in her home state of California Thursday for a fugitive warrant in connection to the assault of the 14-year-old son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold at SoHo’s Arlo Hotel in New York, the sheriff’s office said. Shortly before her arrest, Ponsetto told CBS “This Morning” host Gayle King she acted lawfully in the video recorded by Harrold.
Ponsetto, who has since been dubbed “SoHo Karen” online, appeared to stumble finding words to answer King’s questions about her motives when she singled out the teen and pushed him to the ground.
“Yeah, the footage shows me attacking his son,” she said. “Attacking him how? Yelling at him? Yes. Okay. I apologize. Can we move on?”
She said that she considers herself to be “super sweet” and the one incident does not define her.
When Ponsetto blamed her age — 22 — on her decision-making, King suggested she was old enough to know better.
“All right, Gayle. Enough,” Ponsetto said, indignantly waving her hand at the camera.
Sitting beside Ponsetto, attorney Sharen H. Ghatan whispered for her client to stop, but it was too late.
“I was trying to do my best to assist her but she wasn’t having any of it,” Ghatan told The Washington Post. “When she sat in that chair, and she said ‘I’m not going to remove the “Daddy” hat,’ she was set to do what she wanted to do.”
In the interview, Ponsetto wore a black baseball cap embroidered with the word “Daddy,” merchandise from the sex advice podcast Call Her Daddy.
Ghatan and CBS staff asked Ponsetto to remove the hat but she refused, Ghatan said. When the interview ended, Ponsetto left the set.
Ghatan attributed her client’s outburst to a mental health crisis.
“She wasn’t able to restrain herself,” Ghatan said, and she was less than respectful with King. “This offended me and hurt me because I didn’t want that impression.”
She said that while she spoke with Ponsetto’s mother beforehand, her client could not be reached before she arrived for the interview and was not prepared.
Ghatan represented Ponsetto before the New York incident and is not licensed in that state.
Ponsetto has three pending criminal cases in California: She was charged with public intoxication in February after she was involved in a fight at a hotel, driving under the influence in May and driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest in October, according to the Manhattan prosecutor’s office.
The prosecutor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., announced Saturday that she was charged with third-degree attempted robbery, endangering a child’s welfare, fourth-degree attempted grand larceny and two counts of third-degree attempted assault.
Bond was not set, although the prosecutor alleged she is a flight risk.
“After committing this crime, and despite extensive media coverage, the defendant made no attempts to surrender, instead relaying her version of events to various media outlets,” Vance’s spokesperson Naomi Puzzello said in a statement, adding Ponsetto had fled from police during her arrest and tried to slam the door of her car on an officer.
She was detained Thursday by deputies with a warrant from the New York Police Department. When deputies tried to pull her over, she would not stop until she arrived home and refused to get out of the car when they told her that they were arresting her, according to Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
During the filmed encounter, Ponsetto baselessly told hotel staff that the teen, who was staying at the hotel with his family, had her phone. Ponsetto had left her items unattended and thought her phone was taken. It was later found by her Uber driver.
The incident is the latest case of alleged racial profiling to go viral after a summer of anti-racism protests. In New York City, Amy Cooper, dubbed “Central Park Karen,” called the police to falsely say an “African American man” harassed her when birdwatcher Christian Cooper asked her to put her dog on a leash in a now-infamous video.
Ghatan said the Harrold family has not yet responded to Ponsetto’s attempt to apologize to them.
Parents of the 14-year-old, Harrold and Kat Rodriguez, said through their attorney Ben Crump that their energy was directed toward bringing attention to systemic racism rather than speaking with Ponsetto.
“Miya will be dealt with by law enforcement, and hopefully be charged with the assault of our child,” the parents said in a statement. “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.”