Dr. Catherine London was slapped in the face by Marcella Caprario at the Upper West Side Trader Joe’s after a verbal tussle involving London’s 13-year-old son, Caprario’s husband and some vegan Pad Thai. This week, Caprario, who never denied hitting London but refused a plea bargain, was found not guilty in Manhattan court of assault. London, now with her pride stinging instead of her face, turned to a message board to vent: “Well I guess I should have decked her as the judge found her NOT GUILTY!!!!” she wrote on beginnertriathlete.com (members only), as reported by the New York Post. “I guess it is ok to hit someone if you feel they invade your personal space . . . wow.” Caprario also took some time to responded to the verdict — in the Village Voice comments section.
“[K]nowing what I know about her now and based on her testimony, this is a case that simply never should have been brought,” said Mark Bederow, Caprario’s defense attorney.
But despite the not guilty verdict, Caprario seems unhappy with the media portrayal of the case, which we handled lightly and with some sarcasm, so she (or someone claiming to be her!) took to our comments section with a statement. Here it is in full:
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
The comment’s slightly unhinged self-seriousness — not to mention the length! — makes us trust its authenticity. Plus, note the corroborating detail about London’s penchant for message boards: “Dr. London has a history of being banned from stores and message boards for her aggressive, argumentative, over-the-top behavior.”
These women got their day in court, now each have struggled to get the last word. But here’s the final verdict: London got slapped and lost her case; Caprario won.
Maybe now they can both get on with their lives.