A white woman assaulted a black teen at a New York City hotel on Saturday after accusing the teen, who was a guest at the hotel and the son of Grammy-winning jazz musician Keyon Harrold, of stealing her iPhone. Rather than take Harrold’s side, the hotel believed the woman and asked the teen to produce the phone. Spoiler alert: the woman’s phone was later found by an Uber driver in a car she had taken.
Wrote Harrold in a caption accompanying a video which showed part of the encounter: “I am furious!!! We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!! I typically try to keep things positive, but nothing about this video is positive.”
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“The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast,” Harrold added. “This person quote on quote ‘lost’ her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which merely ridiculous. 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!!! Now watch it again. This lady is not even a guest at the hotel. She checked out of the hotel on the 23rd of December; today is the 26th. Now watch as the manager advocates for the lady who is not even a hotel guest, insisting and attempting to use his managerial authority to force my son to show his phone to this random lady. He actually empowered her!!! He didn’t even consider the fact we were actually the guests! Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad. 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. No apologies from the establishment. This sh*t happens so often. It needs to stop!!!”
The NYT reports: “In a statement, the hotel apologized to Mr. Harrold and his son. While the hotel said the manager called the police to report the incident and hotel security had stepped in, ‘more could have been done to de-escalate the dispute.’ … ‘We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel,’ the hotel said, adding that it was committed to ‘making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels.'”