The black teen, 14, who was falsely accused of stealing an iPhone by the woman dubbed ‘SoHo Karen’ has been left traumatized and questioning ‘Why me?’, according to his concerned parents.
Keyon Harrold Jr. is said to be seeking therapy after he was tackled to the ground by 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in New York City back on December 26.
The revelation that the boy is struggling with ongoing trauma following the incident comes as new details have also emerged about Ponsetto’s long rap sheet.
The 22-year-old was arrested on a second DUI charge in October just five days after being put on probation for her first one in May, according to court records obtained by TMZ.
This came after a separate arrest back in February with her mother for drunkenly refusing to leave a hotel in Los Angeles.
Ponsetto is yet to be slapped with any charges over the alleged assault on 14-year-old Keyon on Boxing Day but the boy’s family and civil rights attorneys are calling for her arrest.
Keyon’s concerned father, Grammy-winning African American jazz artist Keyon Harrold, told TMZ he and the boy’s mom Kat Rodriguez are now in the process of choosing a trauma therapist for their son following the attack.
He said his son has been left ‘seriously traumatized’ and made to feel like a criminal, and is asking his parents: ‘Why me?’
Harrold said he has taught his son to have ‘dignity’ and an ‘ego’ as a young black man but the alleged assault has left Keyon racked with self-doubt.
‘I have tried to instill dignity in my son. I’m trying to build his ego, because for so long egos of Black men have been shattered,’ said Harrold.
He added that he often stays in hotels with his son because of his work as a musician.
But Keyon is becoming fearful of going to hotels due to concerns that the same thing will happen again and someone will accuse him of a crime.
‘He wonders if he’s good enough to own an iPhone, or whether he’s out of place at a nice hotel,’ Harrold said.
Harrold said he is trying to convince his son that ‘you definitely belong, everywhere you go’ but that he thinks it will take professional help.
The alleged assault on Keyon came just two months after Ponsetto was arrested on a DUI charge, newly obtained court records reveal.
Ponsetto, who is currently holing up at her mom’s house in Piru, California, was arrested and charged with DUI, resisting arrest and obstructing or delaying a peace officer or EMT in Ventura County on October 3, reported TMZ.
She has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due back in court on January 28.
However the October arrest came just five days after she was placed on probation over a May 28 DUI incident in Malibu.
Ponsetto was sentenced to three years probation, 30 hours of community service and ordered to take a nine-month alcohol/drug counseling program after pleading no contest.
Her October arrest could be a violation of her probation meaning she could face prison time, according to a letter sent to Los Angeles County.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Rachel Sharp and Harriet Alexander