NEW YORK (AP) – A confrontation in which a man said a woman tackled his 14-year-old Black son in a New York City hotel lobby as she falsely accused the teen of stealing her phone is under investigation, city prosecutors said Monday.
Keyon Harrold, a prominent jazz trumpeter, posted a widely viewed video of the confrontation Saturday at the Arlo Hotel. He said the unidentified woman scratched him and tackled and grabbed his son, Keyon Harrold Jr., at the lower Manhattan hotel where the pair were staying. The video shows an agitated woman demanding her phone be returned while a hotel manager tries to settle the situation. At one point, the woman appears to rush forward and says, “I’m not letting him walk away with my phone!’ ‘
Harrold said the phone was returned by an Uber driver shortly afterward.
The confrontation prompted comparisons to recent incidents involving false accusations against Black people. In May, a Black birdwatcher pulled out his phone in Central Park in May and captured a white woman calling police to report she was being threatened by “an AfricanAmerican man.”
New York City police did not identify the woman, saying only that there was a harassment complaint on file for an incident Saturday inside the hotel. A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said the office is “thoroughly investigating this incident” but did not elaborate.
Hotel management said in a posting Sunday they reached out to Harrold and his son to apologize.