The now-viral video of a non-Black woman assaulting and falsely accusing a Black teen of stealing her iPhone at the Arlo Hotel has gained national attention. The father of the young Black teen is now pursuing legal action.
The encounter happened inside the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan on Saturday. You can hear the woman tell the teen to give her the phone in the video, but the child replies, “This is my phone.” That’s when the teen’s father, Keyon Harrold, steps in. “Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone made in the world?” Harrold says to the woman. The manager of the hotel then asked the boy to see the phone. Harrold then said that he and his son were hotel guests who had just come down the elevator.
The manager told Harrold he was trying to help, but Harrold responded, “But you’re not helping, what you’re being is disrespectful… My son has nothing to do with her.” The woman then replied, “No, he’s not leaving. Show me the proof.” The woman then follows the father and son and appears to lunge at Harrold. “No, please, get my phone back,” she said. “I can’t not have my phone!” Harrold claps back, saying, ”Get your hands off,” Harrold said. The video has captured the attention of millions.
The Arlo Hotels apologized for the “recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel.” The hotel said it contacted authorities about the woman’s actions.
“No Arlo guest – or any person – should be subject to this kind of behavior,” the chain said. “We want to apologize to Mr. Harrold and his son for this inexcuseable experience, and have reached out to them directly to express our sincere regret and to offer help in dealing with the traumatic event.”
Since then, the teen’s family says many deep conversations have come about following the traumatic situation. The boy’s mother said her son asked her why he specifically was pointed out and called a thief. “Why did she think that she could accuse me? Why me?” the boy’s mother, Kay, detailed. The family plans on taking the matter to court with the help of attorney Ben Crump, who said this would have never happened to a white person. Crump says he wants the woman criminally charged and a civil rights investigation launched.
The woman actually left her phone in an Uber; it was later returned to her by the ride-share company.
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