NYPD to upgrade charges against woman who falsely accused Keyon Harrold Jr. of phone theft
De Blasio says attack on Keyon Harrold Jr. is ‘racism plain and simple’
Manhattan DA probing alleged assault on Keyon Harrold Jr.
Keyon Harrold Jr.’s parents say woman who attacked him should be probed
The black teen wrongly accused of swiping a woman’s cell phone at a Manhattan hotel said Tuesday he feared for his life during the attack that left him “shell-shocked.”
“For me, I was confused. I’d never seen that lady ever,” Keyon Harrold Jr., 14, said on “Good Morning America.” “And I didn’t know what to do at the moment. That’s why I was happy to have my dad here to help me.”
Asked whether he believed his life could’ve been in danger, he said, “Yes, I think because if you’re by yourself right and you have nobody to help you and you have no proof, just being by myself, it would’ve been a whole different story.”
Video of the incident at the Arlo Hotel in Soho has gone viral, showing the woman frantically accusing the teen of stealing her iPhone with his father, jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, rushing to his defense.
“You feel like there is only one iPhone made in the world?” the father tells the woman in the video he posted to Instagram on Sunday. “What, you see who black people?”
Appearing alongside his dad on ABC, Keyon Jr. said he believed the woman falsely accused him of theft because “I was a threat to her and I think she was scared.”
The video also appears to show the woman attacking the dad as he’s walking away.
“She scratched me and I was there to try and protect my little cub,” Keyon Sr. said. “And basically trying to keep her away, keep her off my son. I couldn’t imagine what it would’ve been like if I wasn’t able to be with him.”
The teen’s mother, meanwhile, alleged her son was clearly targeted because of the color of his skin.
“The toughest answer that a parent has to give their child [is], ‘Son, unfortunately it might be because you’re black, it might be because you’re no longer seen as a child,” Rodriguez said on “Good Morning America.”
The family’s attorney Ben Crump is calling on the Manhattan District Attorney to press charges against the woman, who has not been publicly identified, for assault.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison on Tuesday said police plan to upgrade the charges against her.
The woman has not yet been arrested.
“Think about how many black men have been falsely accused by these Karens and they end up losing their liberty and losing their life sitting in prison?” Crump said on the morning show.
The family is also demanding an apology.
“At first, I would like an apology and two, I would ask her why would she do something this like to a kid who has never met you at all and I would just ask why?” said Keyon Jr.
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