Harold and his son are Black and were guests at the hotel in lower Manhattan. In the video, the woman is seen in white color.
His video of the encounter has been widely shared on social media, indicating outrage over how many people had committed another incident of racial profiling against black men. The hotel apologized and called the woman’s behavior “baseless accusations, bias and assault against an innocent guest”.
A spokeswoman for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said his office is investigating the incident “fully”, and the New York Police Department told CNN that a complaint for harassment has been filed at the Arlo Soho Hotel.
New York Police Department chief of detectives Rodney Harrison said Tuesday that after watching surveillance video of the incident, investigators are accusing the woman of assaulting and possibly attempting a grand larceny or robbery.
The woman disputes the allegations against her
The woman has not come forward, but on Tuesday CNN was the first news organization to talk to her on the phone, and she disputed Harold’s account of what happened.
While the 22-year-old woman claimed she was assaulted, CNN has not been able to confirm her account with investigators or at the hotel where the incident occurred.
In a 20-minute phone interview, she said that after the incident unfolded she tried to look at the surveillance video of the hotel and tried to pin who had taken her phone. She says she asked someone else in the hotel lobby to “empty the pockets”, before eventually confronting Kieron Harold Jr., who had kept his phone in his pocket.
“When everything got a little more serious,” the woman said referring to the conversation.
During the phone call, at the time of the incident, the account of the woman was causing a lot of uproar. It provided additional information on prior events and was unrelated to the incident that CNN had been unable to confirm.
When asked if he was possibly concerned about facing charges and how he was portrayed in the video overall, he said, “Of course I’m worried. It’s not who I am. It’s me. Really … It takes a lot of effort to make sure that I’m always doing it. The right thing. ”
The woman told CNN that she is willing to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, but has not yet received a call from the NYPD nor has she reached out herself. He also said that he is willing to talk to the Harolds.
She then agreed to provide evidence that could help corroborate her claim that she had been assaulted, and she stopped answering CNN’s phone calls and text messages.
CNN is not taking her name at this time because she said she had concerns about her safety related to the incident.
CNN also requested a police report from the NYPD, but it declined, stating that it does not usually occur in such situations.
Many people have seen Harold’s video, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, accusing him of racism. But there are “no plans” at the moment to accuse the woman of partisan crime, Harrison said.
“The investigation is still preliminary, a lot of work still needs to be done,” he said. “The complainants are cooperating and I am confident that the pre-existing investigators will make an arrest in the case at the earliest.”
Harold says that the encounter happened on the way to breakfast
Kishore tells him “this is my phone” and his father tells him that he does not need to explain anything to the woman. The woman comes close to them, demanding to remove the case from the phone.
She then puts a male hotel worker on the shoulder and asks him to bring the phone. She says, “Really, bring it back for me.”
The elder Harold replied, “Are you kidding me? You think there’s only one iPhone in the world?” A man who identifies himself as the hotel manager asks to see the phone but the teenager’s father refuses. “I’m trying to settle this situation,” the manager says.
In the video, when Harold and his son attempted to leave the woman, they said, “I’m not going to let him walk with my phone.” The video then shows him on the floor, but it is unclear how he landed there. She again approaches them and the teenager’s father is heard screaming to shake her hand before the video is cut.
“I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t had my dad, honestly,” Kishore said. Asked what she would say if she had an opportunity to talk to the woman, she said she expected forgiveness. Then he said that he would ask him, “Why would he do something like this with a child who has never met you?”
Harrison said the woman’s phone was returned to the hotel moments after the incident by a ride-share vehicle.
The hotel says that “more could have been done to avert the dispute”.
“It will be horrific at any age, but it is particularly offensive that it happened to a child,” he said. “To Kieran Harold Jr. and his family: I’m sorry that happened to you.”
“There was more that could be done to increase the controversy,” Arlo Hotels said in a statement.
“We are deeply disappointed about the recent incident of baseless allegations, favoritism and assault against an innocent guest of the Arole Hotel,” the statement said. “Upon further investigation into the incident, we came to know that the manager on duty immediately called the police about the woman’s conduct and the security of the hotel intervened to prevent further violence. Any Aro guest – or any person – should not be subjected to such behavior. “
“As this year of racial awareness is coming to a close, it is deeply disturbing such incidents in which a black child is seen and treated like a criminal, “Crump said in a statement.
“We strongly urge Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. to bring an assault and battery charge against this woman to send a message that abusive, racially motivated behavior is unacceptable,” Crump said. “This is what the drive will take to change. We also call for a civil rights investigation at the Arlo Hotel for its inherent bias in the treatment of Kylo.”
CNN’s Melanie Shuman, Tina Burnside, Sonia Moghe and Christina Sigalia contributed to this report.