Marcella Caprario Let Off the Hook in Trader Joe's Thai Food Slapping Trial

A new precedent was set today in Manhattan court: if someone gets between you and your frozen food at Trader Joe's, you can slap them so hard that their ears ring, legally. Today, the 37-year-old amateur opera singer and part-time teacher Marcella Caprario was found not guilty on charges of third degree attempted assault and second degree harassment. Caprario was on trial after an incident in the Trader Joe's on the Upper West Side in which Caprario slapped Dr. Cathleen London when an argument broke out over Trader Joe's brand frozen Pad Thai (with tofu).

Caprario's husband, Bill Hobbs, was attempting to retrieve a package of the vegan Pad Thai when London's 13-year-old son, Noah, cut him off. Frustrated, Hobbs turned to his wife and remarked loudly, "they don't even say excuse me." London overheard him and began to argue with Caprario and Hobbs. When Dr. London took a defensive stance, Caprario slapped her. In court, London told the judge, "She hit me so hard my ears were ringing. I couldn't even see for a moment. I was absolutely stunned."

The non-jury trial was overseen by Judge ShawnDya Simpson of Manhattan Criminal Court over the last two days. Caprario never denied slapping London, but she argued that the slap was deserved and that London was responsible for escalating the situation.

Ultimately Judge Simpson grew tired of the case. The Times reports that she rubbed her eyes, yawned, and barely looked up when the photo of London's redden face was shown. Caprario's lawyer was similarly bored with the trial. He told the newspaper, "The real losers are the New York City taxpayers."

The winners are crazy Trader Joe's shoppers looking to slap someone.


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Look, I'm certainly not proud of slapping someone and this is certainly not the moment that encapsulates who I am. I'm not going to waste a lot of time defending my character against people who don't know me and clearly believe everything they read in the paper.  Just know that the press made a decision to report this from this angle and many things have been stated and even directly quoted in the written press that are simply not true. I don't think I'll ever give a newspaper story credence again.  Even the above article is full of factual inaccuracies and presents the story only from what Dr. London said happened.  I don't know why they choose to present her version as truth, but I can't do anything about that.

That aside, I was found not guilty because my actions do not fit the legal definition of the crimes. My intent was not to cause physical injury or to annoy or harass Dr. London. She did not "take a defensive stance." It was much more aggressive than that. She aggressively moved right up to me when I was attempting to leave to end this ridiculous argument.  After telling her to leave me alone and get away from me repeatedly including shouting it after she wouldn't leave and I started to feel more and more alarmed, I slapped her one time with the open palm of my non-dominant hand when she stepped toward me again. I don't just mean stepping in my direction; her face was as close to mine as physically possible without actually touching.

I'm sure some people who handle stress differently might have just stood there or might have felt comfortable finding a way to back away from this woman, while other people who are more aggressive than I might have punched her or used an object as a weapon. I never would have thought I would ever slap anyone, but until you find yourself in this kind of rapidly escalating situation (which I hope you don't), you really can't know what you would do. This should never have even gone to court. I was not willing to plead to something I was not guilty of and the DA insisted on trying the case.  In response to your comment about my lawyer, Mark Bederow, this man did an excellent and thorough job defending me and was outraged from a legal standpoint that the case went to trial.Interestingly, according to unsolicited comments from people who know her, Dr. London has a history of being banned from stores and message boards for her aggressive, argumentative, over-the-top behavior.

- Marcella Caprario

Bill Stockstill
Bill Stockstill

Of all the places to legally condone slapping someone, NYC. 


Damn kids...


For somebody that states"I'm not going to waste a lot of time defending my character against people who don't know me...", you sure spend an awful lot of time defending your character.Why? Cause someone made a comment and stated your child was rude? So What? Are you that thin skinned?


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