A video of a White woman attacking a Black teen after wrongfully accusing him of theft has gone viral.
This past weekend, Grammy-winning Jazz musician Kenyon Harrold posted the now-viral video on his Instagram page. In the video, we see a woman yelling at his 14-year-old son. In the minute-long video, that now has over 1.5 million views, the woman accuses his son of holding her cellphone in the lobby of the Arlo Soho boutique hotel in New York City. The hotel’s manager then questions the teen on whether or not he’s stolen the phone. When Harrold and his son decide to walk away from the altercation, the woman is heard ordering the hotel manager to grab them. She then yells out that she won’t allow them to walk away and grabs Harrold before tackling his son. It’s then that the video cuts out.
To go along with the video, Harrold wrote that the moment will be a traumatic memory in his son’s mind. He says the two only came down to the lobby “to have box day brunch.” Harold says the altercation continued for five more minutes past the video’s end. Harrold also reveals that the woman wasn’t even a guest at the hotel.
“This lady is not even a guest at the hotel,” the musician wrote. “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!!!”
Afterward, an Uber driver arrived with the woman’s phone, according to Harrold. Harrold then says that he and his son did not receive an apology from the woman or the hotel.
According to the New York Times, the hotel and police have launched an investigation into the incident. Harrold also told the Times that he worries what would have happened to his son had he not been there to protect him.
“I’ve seen people be hurt or even killed for less,” he said.
Harrold then thanked the outpouring of love and support from the internet after the video went viral. Harrold also noted that the Soho hotel let the woman leave before the police arrived in response to the assault. He says the hotel did not respond to the situation or talk to the father and son until the hotel was publicly scrutinized on Instagram.
Arlo Hotels, which is the parent company to the hotel that served as the location of an NYC Pride mural event in 2019, later released a public statement on Sunday, December 27, apologizing. On Instagram, the hotel brand said, “We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice, and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo Hotel.”
The police investigation continues.