News and Commentary

White Woman Accuses Black Teen Of Stealing Her iPhone. She Left It In An Uber.
Keyon Harrold performs at Lantaren Venster on April 25, 2019 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Peter Van Breukelen/Redferns

A white woman lashed out at a black teenager after she couldn’t find her phone, accusing the teen of stealing it when she actually left it in an Uber.

Several minutes of the incident were caught on camera by the boy’s father at the Arlo Soho Hotel in New York City, where the two were staying. The woman had already checked out of the hotel, yet the father and son say the hotel manager on duty appeared to take her side over them, even though they were guests.

The teen is the son of Grammy-award winning trumpet player Keyon Harrold, The Grio reported, and captured part of the incident on his own phone before posting it to his Instagram account. The woman can be seen frantically claiming to the hotel manager that Harrold’s 14-year-old son stole her phone. The teenager told the woman that it was his phone and his father stepped up to say, “You don’t have to explain nothing to her.”

The woman continued to claim that the teen had stolen her phone and demanded that he prove it was his phone. Harrold responded: “Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone in the world?”

Harrold wrote on Instagram that he and his son had just come downstairs from their room at the Arlo to get some breakfast when the woman accosted them for five minutes, though he only filmed some of that encounter. Harrold wrote that he was “protecting my son from this lunatic.”

“She scratched me; she Tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!!!” Harrold wrote.

He said the woman wasn’t even a guest at the hotel, as she had checked out on the 23rd and the incident took place on the 26th. He alleged the hotel manager appeared to help the woman accuse Harrold and his son, even though they were actual guests.

“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!” Harrold wrote.

Harrold added that just a few minutes after the incident, an Uber driver brought the woman’s phone into the hotel after she apparently left it in the vehicle.

“No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me. No apologies from the establishment,” Harrold wrote.

As The Grio noted, the Arlo Hotel issued an apology to Harrold and his family after the musician’s video went viral.

“We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel,” read the statement, which was posted to Instagram. “In investigating the incident further, we’ve learned that the manager on duty promptly called the police regarding the woman’s conduct and that hotel security intervened to prevent further violence; still, more could have been done to deescalate the dispute.”

“No Arlo guest — or any person — should be subject to this kind of behavior. We want to apologize to Mr. Harrold and his son for this inexcusable experience, and have reached out to them directly to express our sincere regret and to offer help in dealing with this traumatic event. We are committed to making sure this never happens again at any of our hotels,” the hotel added.

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