Manhattan prosecutors said Monday they are probing claims that a woman falsely accused a 14-year-old black boy of stealing her cellphone, then attacked him, in a caught-on-camera confrontation that has gone viral.
“Our office is thoroughly investigating this incident,” said DA spokesman Danny Frost.
The development comes after teen Keyon Harrold Jr.’s parents called for authorities to bring charges against the unidentified woman over the disturbing Saturday encounter at the Arlo Hotel in Soho.
The teen’s father, prominent Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, posted footage of the incident to his Instagram account, which shows the woman frantically telling the hotel manager that the boy took her phone before she lunges at him.
“Take the case off, that’s mine. Literally, get it back,” she says to a hotel manager in the clip.
A few minutes later, the woman’s missing phone was returned by an Uber driver, according to the New York-based musician’s Instagram post.
The family’s lawyer, Ben Crump, said it was especially troubling that the hotel manager allegedly tried to force Harrod Jr. to show his phone to the stranger to prove he wasn’t a thief.
Earlier Monday, the lawyer demanded that Manhattan prosecutors bring assault and battery charges against the woman to “send the message that hateful, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable.”
He also called for a civil-rights investigation into the hotel for the manager’s alleged biased treatment of the teen.
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