Black jazz musician Keyon Harrold is calling for the New York Police Department (NYPD) to bring charges against a white woman who he says assaulted his teenage son during an altercation.
The Grammy-winning trumpet player was with his 14-year-old son at the Arlo SoHo hotel in Manhattan when, according to Harrold, a white woman approached his son and accused him of stealing her iPhone. After an argument ensued, Harrold said the woman scratched him and tackled his son.
“We were basically targeted, and the lady from the video is screaming … erratically that my son somehow took her phone,” Harrold told ABC News.
As it turned out, the woman left her phone in an Uber and the driver returned to the hotel to give it back to her.
In a video that Harrold recorded on his cell phone, the woman, who is wearing a face mask, can be seen lunging and yelling at him and his son. Harrold’s son can also be heard telling the woman he didn’t take her phone.
Harrold shared the video on his Instagram page on Dec. 27, adding that the manager of the hotel sided with the woman.
“I didn’t have the opportunity to be believed, and neither did my son. We were guilty then proven innocent,” Harrold told ABC. The hotel to Harrold and his son in an Instagram post. Harrold said the apology was akin to sweeping the incident under the rug.
The woman, who remains unnamed, did a phone interview with CNN and said she initially demanded to see video surveillance of the hotel lobby. After her request was denied she asked another person about their phone before approaching Harrold’s son who she believed had her phone in his pocket.
During the interview with CNN, the woman agreed to provide evidence to show her side of the issue, but CNN has acknowledged they haven’t been able to reach her since. The NYPD announced Tuesday that it would upgrade charges against the woman after law enforcement officials viewed Harrold’s recording.
“We have a white female, we don’t have her identified yet, or her age, falsely accuse a male black, 14 years of age, for stealing her cellphone,” Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison told the New York Post. “Our perpetrator initially started a verbal argument of this accusation and then tried to attack our teenager by grabbing for his phone, grabbing his leg and trying to tackle him. Our victim didn’t suffer any injuries. But his father, who he was with, received slight injuries.”
The incident has reminded Americans of other Karen-related incidents where a White woman threw her business into situations including barbecues, selling water, bird watching, and a man writing Black Lives Matter in chalk on his property.