The Black teenager who was falsely accused of stealing a woman's phone is now in need of therapy because the incident has seriously scarred him ... this according to his parents.
Keyon Harrold tells TMZ ... he and his ex-wife, Kat, are currently vetting therapists and looking to get their son -- 14-year-old Keyon Jr. -- into trauma therapy soon. Keyon (the dad) tells us his son is seriously traumatized ... and a lot has to do with Miya Ponsetto immediately zeroing in on him.
Keyon Jr. asked his dad a simple question that unearths lots of serious issues, including self-doubt ... "Why Me?"
Keyon says he's raised his son to become a proud, Black man, saying, "I have tried to instill dignity in my son. I'm trying to build his ego, because for so long egos of Black men have been shattered."
Keyon feels without professional help, his mission may be torpedoed by Ponsetto's vicious attack on his son. His dad tells us, "He wonders if he's good enough to own an iPhone, or whether he's out of place at a nice hotel." That, Keyon says, must immediately be nipped in the bud.
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There's also a practical problem. Both parents are musicians and travel a lot, which means they stay at hotels quite a bit. Keyon says his son is now showing fear about going to hotels. Keyon Jr. has told his dad he's afraid someone will come from behind and tackle him. He's also afraid of being accused of a crime. In fact, he told his dad the day of the incident he felt like a criminal.
Keyon's handling it with broad strokes ... "You definitely belong, everywhere you go."
By the way ... long before the incident, Keyon and his son have talked about social justice issues, and the tragedies of Emmett Till, Michael Brown, George Floyd, and on and on.
Ending on a nice note ... at the time of this post Keyon Jr. is in a studio with his dad and some friends recording music. Jr. is a drummer/producer/songwriter. But, when dad spoke with us on the phone, his son was remaking J. Cole's "Be Free."