Saratoga Jazz Fest Vet Shoots Viral Video of Teenage Son Being Wrongfully Accused of Stealing

In the video, Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold's teenage son is accosted by a woman accusing him of stealing her iPhone.

Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold performing at the 2018 Saratoga Jazz Fest. (Francesco D'Amico)

On December 26, Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, who most recently appeared at the 2018 installment of the Saratoga Jazz Festival, came down to the lobby of the Arlo SoHo hotel in New York City with his 14-year-old son to enjoy a Boxing Day brunch. And then, all hell broke loose.

Shortly after entering the lobby, Harrold’s son was accosted by a woman claiming that he had stolen her iPhone. Harrold began filming the incident on his own smartphone, which has now been viewed more than 2.1 million times and has gotten the attention of a number of verified accounts, including Tonight Show bandleader Questlove and Late Show bandleader (and Jazz Fest vet) Jon Batiste.


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A post shared by Keyon Harrold (@keyonharrold)

Harrold noted that the woman had checked out of the hotel on December 23 and returned looking for her “stolen” iPhone, almost immediately accusing his son of stealing it. Harrold says she “assaulted” his son, scratching, tackling and grabbing him—there’s a point in the video when there appears to be a short altercation, with the woman lunging at someone and then falling down (Harrold later said he was dropping his phone to defend his son)—while the hotel’s manager tries to get between the three. In his post, Harrold accuses the manager of “advocating” for the woman; at one point, the manager appears to ask Harrold’s son to produce his iPhone, while his father loudly defends him. “He didn’t even consider the fact we were actually the guests!” wrote Harrold of the hotel’s manager.

According to Harrold, an Uber driver then showed up minutes after the incident took place with the woman’s phone, which she’d left in a car.

Harrold noted that neither the woman nor the hotel has apologized for the incident.

Harrold has since posted a follow-up, urging the public not to accuse the woman of anything until she is proven guilty. He also posted this statement:


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A post shared by Keyon Harrold (@keyonharrold)

However, Harrold did note that “we will share the guilty party when we properly ID them. Until then, please do to others as you would want them to do to you.”

Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.


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