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A woman confesses to assaulting a black teenager at a hotel in New York City.

Miya Ponsetto said that she did a hate crime in the 2020 episode, which was shown in a widely seen video.

A California woman who threw a Black teen to the ground at a SoHo hotel after falsely accusing him of stealing her cell phone pleaded guilty to a felony hate crime charge on Monday. Parts of it were shown in a well-known video.

It was Miya Ponsetto, 23, who got out of jail and could change her plea to a less serious charge if she did well on probation in a case where she was driving drunk in California. If she doesn't do that for the next two years, she won't be able to go to counseling or do anything with the law.

Black people in New York and other places often have to deal with false accusations like the one that happened at the hotel. Several months later, a white woman called 911 to say that a black bird-watcher in Central Park was going to kill her. She made up the story. At some point in the past, a lawyer for Ms. Ponsetto said that she is of Puerto Rican and Vietnamese descent.

New York City's district attorney, Alvin Bragg, said in a statement that Ponsetto's plea was "outrageous." He said that when he saw her tackle the 14-year-old son of a well-known jazz musician in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in December 2020, he thought she was "outrageous."

"As a black man, I have been the target of racial profiling many times in my life, and I feel for the young man who was targeted in this case," Mr. Bragg said in a statement. "This plea ensures that Ms. Ponsetto is held accountable by addressing the root causes of her behavior and making sure this kind of behavior doesn't happen again."

Her lawyer, Paul D'Emilia, said in a statement that he and his client were happy that today's hearing brought this "unfortunate misunderstanding" closer to an end.

Thank you for your thoughtful and empathetic approach to finding an acceptable resolution, said Mr. D'Emilia in a statement, "especially in light of the unreasonable pressure put on us by many voices who were not familiar with the more granular details of what happened that evening."

When he said, "Many voices," it was likely a reference to the angry public outcry that happened when a video that showed parts of the fight started spreading across social media soon after the fight happened on December 26, 2020.

It was made by jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, who was staying at the Arlo with his son when he took the video. A woman they didn't know came up to them in the lobby of the hotel and asked them for brunch.

The video shows how quickly things got heated. Ms. Ponsetto says that the teenager has the phone and yells at the father and son, while Mr. Harrold says that Ms. Ponsetto is in the wrong and that the teenager has the phone.

She can be heard yelling, "No." "I'm not giving him my phone!"

In the video, there is also a man who claims to be a hotel manager. He says he is "trying to help" while he seems like he is talking to the teenager about the phone.

Separate footage from a hotel security camera shows Ms. Ponsetto slamming down on the boy. Later, an Uber driver found the phone and brought it back to the owner, who was grateful.

Ms. Ponsetto, the woman who ran away from the hotel, was arrested in California about 10 days later, but not before she took part in a nationally televised interview that quickly turned into an excuse-making game.

During an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Harrold said that the hotel incident had left him "shell-shocked."

"I wonder what would happen if it were different, if it were a Black woman and there was a white 14-year-old." He also didn't like how the hotel manager had talked to his son: "They thought he was guilty."

The hotel then apologized to Mr. Harrold and his son, saying it was "deeply disappointed" by the recent incident of "baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest," and that it was "deeply disappointed."

The district attorney's office added two counts of second-degree unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime last year. The original charges did not include hate crimes. At the time, Ms. Ponsetto said she wasn't guilty.

On Monday, she agreed to plead guilty to one count of second-degree unlawful imprisonment as a hate crime, which is a crime that can get you in prison. A judge will let her plead guilty in two years to second-degree aggravated harassment, a misdemeanor with a hate crime element. If she sticks to the terms of the plea deal, she can do that.

“Ms. Ponsetto would like Keyon Harrold to accept her remorse and apology for her actions that evening, and for all of us to move forward with more understanding and compassion.” This is what Mr. D'Emilia said in his statement.

When Mr. Harrold talked to him on Monday, he said that such an apology was not enough for his son's injuries, and that it "minimizes how traumatized Keyon, Jr. still is."

"However," he said, "we don't just blame Ms. Ponsetto for the attack. We also blame the Arlo Hotel for letting it go on and on and on."

He has sued Ms. Ponsetto, the hotel, the company that owns it, Quadrum Global; and the manager over the incident, which he says is "yet another example of African Americans being harmed by baseless accusations as they go about their daily lives."

Quadrum's media department didn't right away answer a question about the company.


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