A Black Grammy-Award-winning jazz trumpeter said he was made to watch his 14-year-old son assaulted and accused of stealing a white woman’s iPhone while the hotel he was a guest at only further enabled the woman. “I hate I have to post this!!! I am furious!!!” Keyon Harrold said in an Instagram post Saturday. “We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!!” He said when the incident occurred at Arlo SoHo, the woman who demanded Harrold’s son show her his phone to prove it wasn’t stolen wasn't even a guest at the boutique hotel in lower Manhattan. She had checked out on Wednesday. Still, video of the incident showed a hotel worker allowing the woman to make demands of Harrold’s son.
“No he’s not leaving,” the woman was shown saying. “Show me the proof.” Harrold responded: “Are you kidding me? You better get on.” He earlier suggested she use the cellphone feature “find my iPhone” and told her to “get a life.” She, however, didn’t take his advice. Someone can be heard calling for security in the video, at which point the woman appears to step out of the camera’s view then back in front of the viewpoint. “No, I’m not letting him walk away with my phone,” she said.
The hotel apologized to Harrold in a statement emailed to Daily Kos Sunday. “We’re deeply disheartened about the recent incident of baseless accusation, prejudice and assault against an innocent guest of Arlo hotel,” a hotel spokesman said in the statement. “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 de-escalate 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.”
Harrold said in his post that an Uber driver later returned the unidentified woman’s phone to her, but she offered him no apology. “This s--t happens so often. It needs to stop!!!” Harrold said in the post. “If anyone recognizes this person, please tag or DM”
Harrold’s complete post:
“I hate I have to post this!!! I am furious!!! We see this crap happening all the time, but it hits different when it hits home!!! I typically try to keep things positive, but nothing about this video is positive. The lady in this video assaulted my 14-year-old son and me as we came down from our room in the @arlohotels Arlo Soho to get breakfast. This person quote on quote “lost” her iPhone, and apparently, my son magically acquired it, which merely ridiculous. This incident went on for five more minutes, me protecting my son from this lunatic. She scratched me; she Tackled and grabbed him. He is a child!!! Now watch it again. This lady is not even a guest at the hotel. 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!!! He didn't even consider the fact we were actually the guests! Now think about the trauma that my son now has to carry, only coming downstairs to have box day brunch with his dad. Then... her phone was magically returned by an Uber driver a few minutes after this incident. No apology from her after this traumatic situation to my son, not me. No apologies from the establishment. This s--t happens so often. It needs to stop!!! If anyone recognizes this person, please tag or DM.”
Harrold played the trumpet in Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic "Miles Ahead" and won a Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media in 2017.