*Prosecutors at Manhattan’s district attorney’s office are still searching for SoHo Karen. SoHo Karen, whose government name is Miya Ponsetto, is the 22-year-old woman who wrongly accused a 14-year-old boy of stealing her iPhone, then tackled him out of frustration! SoHo Karen left the scene before police arrived, but social media sleuths identified her within a day of the assault.
SoHo Karen (Ponsetto) physically assaulted the teenager after he and his father refused to show her their phone as she demanded and they started to leave the Arlo hotel lobby where the incident occurred. If you haven’t seen it, here is the video of the altercation and the latest information of her whereabouts.
Beyond the initial false accusation, there’s a lot to unpack. Let’s start with the accusation itself: It’s safe to say 99 percent of people in the world who have smartphones have misplaced that phone at least once. If it happened in a public place, meaning you weren’t at home, we have all felt that panic of losing our phones along with all the information stored in it.
But most rational, even-tempered people don’t automatically assume it’s been stolen. Most rational people try to backtrack their steps in their minds to figure out ‘where is the last place I used my phone or saw my phone?’ If SoHo Ponsetto- would have done the mental work first, instead of accusing others of stealing her phone, she would have saved herself public humiliation. But that ship has sailed.
A rational person would have asked someone to call the phone to see if it rang or vibrated. Or maybe use Find My iPhone. She didn’t do that. Since she had just gotten out of an Uber the most logical place she left it would have been in the rideshare. But her behavior tells us that she is not a logical thinker! She’s an alarmist! The Uber driver later returned her phone that she left in his vehicle, but Karen didn’t bother to apologize to the man or his son.
Secondly, When CNN interviewed Soho Karen about the incident, the woman lied at least twice. The first lie was to deny this was a racial issue. She told CNN she had demanded another stranger – a White person – empty his pockets before she moved on to wrongly accuse this Black teen and his father.
The reason I don’t believe her is because of the way SoHo Karen played upon the sympathy of the hotel manager to act as her enforcer when the father and son refused to show her the phone upon demand. In a typical ‘damsel in distress’ fashion she told the manager ‘I need you to literally get that (phone) back for me!’ Soho Karen played the role of a helpless White woman who needed a White man to save her from the Black villain. She is no different than the White woman who lied on Emmitt Till or Central Park Karen who called the police on the Black bird watcher and lied to police. Same shit, different day. Approaching a man by herself is not something she’s likely to do, especially when there’s another man around who is willing to do her dirty work.
In this case the father didn’t allow the SoHo’s – Karen or the hotel manager – to bully his son or himself. If anything the manager should have stood up for the man and his son who were hotel guests. Not this fake damsel in distress!
The second lie SoHo Karen Ponsetto told CNN was that she was the victim who had been assaulted! When they asked her for proof of her claims, she never called back with that proof. If she had it, she would have offered it up, but she didn’t. And she left the scene before police arrived. Somebody like her who thrives on the sympathy of others would have stuck around to play the victim for police. Instead, she left the scene of her crime.
Another point that was revealed by SoHo Karen’s behavior: She accused this Black teenager of theft because SoHo Karen didn’t believe he could afford to have the same iPhone that she had! So she concluded he must have stolen it from her! It’s the same assumption that has come to be known as DWB – driving while Black. Oftentimes, when police see an African-American person driving a nice car they assume it’s stolen or s/he obtained it by illegal means. So the driver becomes a target through no fault of their own.
Lastly, it’s 2021, not 1921. Black people don’t have to carry freedom papers and wait to be dismissed by White people who stop them in public and accuse them of crimes! So when Karen supporters claim the father and son should have shown Karen the phone to ease her mind before they moved on, they’ve got it wrong. They didn’t have to show her a damn thing. What if roles were reversed? If a Black man stopped a Karen and demanded that she show him the phone and then tackled her when she tried to leave, you and I both know he would have been in jail already charged with assault – if he survived the arrest. Click on my video above for more details. Let’s do the right thing and bring Miya Pisetto to justice.
Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with your comments, questions and speaking inquiries. Follow her @TCBSteff on Twitter and Instagram.