Newly released video footage of the woman accused of racially profiling and attacking a Black man and his teenage son over a lost phone shows her tackling the boy from behind and pushing him to the ground at a downtown Manhattan hotel.
The footage was released by NYPD late Wednesday night as the police ask for public assistance in locating the woman.
"The female individual has been positively identified and Detectives are endeavoring to locate her. The incident is not being investigated as a bias incident," NYPD said in a statement Thursday.
Keyon Harrold Jr., the 14-year-old son of jazz musician Keyon Harrold, was headed to brunch with his father Saturday when he was accosted by the woman in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel, boutique hotel in SoHo, according to video of the incident Harrold posted to Instagram.
The elder Harrold’s video shows the woman lunging at the teenager, yelling "show me my phone!"
“Are you kidding me? You feel like there’s only one iPhone made in the world?” replies Harrold, who notes that he and his son had just emerged in the lobby from an elevator. The woman eventually tackled the boy and tried to search his pockets, Harrold said. "She scratched me; she tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!" he wrote in the post.
The newly released footage shows Keyon Jr. walking away from the woman when she runs after him and grabs him from behind, then pulling him down to the ground with her.
The woman’s phone was later recovered by an Uber driver and returned the same day, police said.
NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison tweeted Wednesday that “the woman in this video falsely accused an innocent 14-year-old teenager of stealing her cellphone. She then proceeded to physically attack him and fled the location before police officers arrived on scene.” NYPD said the elder Harrold sustained scratches on his hand.
CNN interviewed the 22-year-old woman Tuesday where she insisted she was the one who was attacked but then stopped answering the outlet’s phone calls.
In the 20-minute conversation (which CNN described as "rambling"), the woman defended herself: "Of course I worry. That's not who I am,” she said of the possibility of facing criminal charges for attacking the boy. “I actually ... try very hard to make sure that I am always doing the right thing." She said she would cooperate with the police.
CNN did not identify her because “she said she has concerns for her safety unrelated to this incident.”
The incident has evoked comparisons to other recent incidents involving false allegations lodged against people of color — including the now-infamous video of a white woman calling the cops on a Black bird watcher in Central Park.
Harrold said in his Instagram post that the woman was "empowered" by the hotel manager, who can be seen in the video asking the teenager to produce his phone "to settle this situation."
The day after the incident, the Arlo issued an apology to Harrold and his son for the "inexcusable experience," adding that "more could have been done to deescalate the dispute." "We're deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel," the statement said.
On Wednesday, Harrold held a press conference with Rev. Al Sharpton at City Hall, where he noted he grew up in Ferguson, Missouri and said all he wanted for his child was to be able to live safely.
“I want my son to grow up whole,” Harrold said. “I can't even come downstairs in New York City, New York City, and just go get brunch without being attacked and wrongfully accused of something.”
“Everybody's heard the term, ‘Let me see your papers. Let me see your papers,’” Harrold added. “That's what happened to me, that's what happened to my son, and that needs to stop.”
The police ask that anyone with information about the woman’s whereabouts to contact the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS (8477) or DM @NYPDTips on Twitter.