A new video showing a woman accusing a Black child of stealing her phone in a New York city hotel over the holiday weekend has left many on the internet furious.
According to eyewitnesses, the White woman attacked a Black man and his 14-year-old son shortly after they exited the elevator of the upscale hotel where the father and son were paying guests on Saturday. The woman had previously stayed at the hotel, but was not a guest at the time of the assault.
The video shows Grammy-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold being yelled and lunged at by the woman while the hotel’s manager, a White man, defends her.
The incident happened over the weekend at the Arlo SoHo hotel in Manhattan.
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In his Instagram caption, Harrold summed up the altercation.
“This person quote on quote ‘lost’ her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it…”
In the video, the woman told the hotel’s manager the 14-year-old stole her phone.
Harrold’s son calmly told them the phone in his hand is his own, but his father quickly told him he owes her no explanation.
The woman then angrily commanded the child to prove it is not her phone in his hand.
“Take the case off. That’s mine.”
“Give it back to me.”
Harrold then pointed out the obvious—there are millions of iPhones out there that all look alike.
“Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone made in the world?”
He then suggested the woman use the iPhone’s Find My iPhone feature.
The hotel’s manager then stepped in to intervene and fully taking the side of the White woman—who was not a guest of the hotel—as she yelled, “Show me the proof,” repeatedly. When Harrold refused to cooperate with her demands, she lunged at him several times, physically attacking him.
As Harrold described it:
“This incident went on for five more minutes, me protecting my son from this lunatic. She scratched me; she Tackled and grabbed him.”
“He is a child!!!… think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box[ing] day brunch with his dad.”
In the end, it turned out the woman left her phone in an Uber.
Harrold said she never offered an apology.
“Then… her phone was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident. No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me.”
On social media, people were outraged by the incident, citing the woman’s sense of entitlement, her racial profiling and the hotel manager’s racial bias in immediately siding with and supporting the woman instead of his hotel guests.
@ArloHotels your manager actually advocated for this woman! This is the very definition of not protecting guests safety!
— Joey R Johnson 🏳️🌈👨👨👦☃️ (@Johnson__joey) December 27, 2020
The way that she demanded “proof” that his iPhone wasn’t hers is peak white entitlement. The modern day “show me your freedom papers.” She wasn’t a hotel guest yet mgmt intuitively sought to protect her interests at the expense of the kid’s dignity. #blackinamerica
— Erika K Wilson (@Erika_K_Wilson) December 28, 2020
A random woman in the lobby says grab him and drop him thats my phone and the manager actually says… prove to me that’s your phone. OH HELL NO! without a stitch of proof, he becomes the defendant – racial profiling and assault by manager and this woman.
— Chaka Khan (@CandeyQ) December 27, 2020
This is exactly why I keep my phone locked in my purse whenever I go out. It’s why I take selfies. It’s why I even have the phone case I have. If someone accused me of stealing what’s mine, I already have my responses planned…I just reread what I wrote; racism is a trip. 😢🤦🏾♀️
— CuriousMaverick 📚🧜🏿♀️♏️ (@CuriousMaverick) December 28, 2020
The hotel manager is part of the problem here.
— Moni Sengupta #Khive #SussexSquad #SaveSanditon 🐚 (@moshimisen) December 27, 2020
I’m glad all this is recorded cause you know she’s also gonna claim that she got hurt and we all saw her advancing and acting outta pocket
— HashtagKelv (@HashtagKelv) December 27, 2020
Father should file police report for assault of minor. No adult should be able to lay hands on a child like that. Seems like there were multiple witnesses.
— Shawn Atkins (@ShawnAtk0744085) December 28, 2020
Man not gunna lie, someone comes up on one of my kids like… they’re gunna wake up the next day. Don’t care if it’s a man or a woman. You don’t go attacking a kid like that. She’s way outa line and that manager needs his credentials rechecked. He should’ve sided with his guests!
— (Ar)²≡🔋🔋 (@Ar_Squared89) December 27, 2020
That hotel manager did an absolutely terrible job. The woman should be arrested for assault.
— B (@baeb66) December 28, 2020
(212) 342-7000 this is the number to @ArloHotels in NYC who’s manager allowed @keyonharrold and his son to be assaulted by a complete stranger who falsely accused his 14yr old son of stealing her iPhone which he DIDN’T.
She wasn’t even a guest & they were. FIRE the manager. pic.twitter.com/8HERZB4Guo
— Isaac Hayes III (@IsaacHayes3) December 27, 2020
Look at how @ArloHotels assumed so quickly she was the victim. She even touched the managers back like “ I’m the victim “ he’s the thief … having no proof. Look at poor @keyonharrold son…he’s clueless to this attack. Thank God his father was there!!! Thank God for his dad
— maddie (@maddiegurl77) December 27, 2020
Arlo Hotels eventually apologized in the comments of Harrold’s post and called the incident “inexcusable” in a statement to The Daily Dot. Any disciplinary action for the manager was not disclosed.
The woman has not yet been publicly identified.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is investigating the incident. Police had not released the identity of the woman as of Monday afternoon.