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New York City police are investigating an incident in which a woman allegedly attacked a 14-year-old Black boy and his father after falsely accusing the teen of taking her iPhone.
The incident occurred on Saturday at the Arlo SoHo boutique hotel in lower Manhattan. The agitated woman confronts the boy and his father before the altercation gets physical.
The boy's father, Keyon Harrold, posted an iphone video that appears to show the woman accusing the boy of having her phone.
In the video, the woman tells the teen to hand over the phone, but Harrold's son replies, "This is my phone." Standing behind a male hotel manager, the woman continues to demand the boy to relinquish the device.
Harrold, a prominent trumpeter who has performed with Beyonce, gets involved in the dispute. "Are you kidding me?" he's heard asking. "You feel like there's only one iPhone made in the world?"
The hotel manager then approaches the boy and asks to see the iPhone. He says that he's just trying to help. "But you're not helping," Harrold responds. "What you're being is disrespectful. My son has nothing to do with her."
Harrold and his son walk away, but the woman allegedly follows them and appears to lunge toward them. "Get your hands off me," Harrold says as the video ends.
Newly released surveillance video shows the woman later tackling the boy to the ground. Ben Crump, an attorney for the boy's family, released the video on Twitter earlier today.
An Uber driver later returned the woman's phone which she had left in his car.
The videos have been widely shared on social media, prompting an outcry about what many feel is an incident of racial profiling against Black men.
In an Instagram post, the Arlo Hotels apologized for the "recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel."
"No Arlo guest – or any person – should be subject to this kind of behavior," the chain wrote. "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 the traumatic event."
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, the woman said that she was merely trying to get her phone back, and that she had asked someone else to "empty their pockets" before confronting Harrold and his son.
"That’s not who I am," the unidentified woman told the network. "I actually try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing."
A spokesman for the Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance tells CNN that his office "is thoroughly investigating" the incident, and the New York Police Department says that a complaint for harassment has also been filed.
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