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.