The case over a fight between two women in the frozen food aisle of a New York City Trader Joe's has thawed after a clear "not guilty" ruling was issued today by the Manhattan Criminal Court judge presiding over the frosty case.
The ruling is a victory for Marcella Caprario, a New York City opera singer and school teacher, who faced harassment and attempted assault charges for the Jan. 9 slapping of Dr. Cathleen London, a prominent New York doctor and TV commentator, in a Trader Joe's supermarket on New York City's Upper West Side.
Caprario, 37, admitted to slapping London in a dispute involving Caprario's husband and London's 13-year-old son over a box of frozen vegan pad Thai in the freezer aisle of the Trader Joe's.
The ruling, not guilty on both counts, was issued today by Manhattan Criminal Court Judge ShawnDya Simpson in the non-jury case.
The ingredients that sparked the slap heard around the supermarket and, later, criminal court, began with the doctor, the singer, a husband, a son and the contested box of frozen vegan pad Thai.
According to testimony from both sides, the argument began on a Sunday afternoon in January as the two women were grocery shopping with their families.
Caprario's husband, Bill Hobbs, reached for a container of Trader Joe's brand Frozen Vegan Pad Thai With Tofu from the store's freezer aisle at the same time as London's 13-year-old son, Noah.
Hobbs said the 13-year-old slipped in front of him in the narrow aisles and prevented him from getting the noodles, a claim the teen disputed.
"This man starts yelling at me saying I got in the way and kids these days never say excuse me," Noah testified at the trial, which began on Tuesday.
Caprario entered the scene to defend her husband at the same time that London appeared to defend her son, and a heated argument broke out between the two women.
"She was saying they're rude and go away, and then said she was going to hit me," London said to ABC News outside the courtroom Tuesday, describing Caprario's actions.
London, a divorced mother of two and frequent guest on FOX News and CNN, told the court that, as Capriaro continued to repeat things like, 'Back off, back the f**k off, you b***h,' she, London, stepped forward to assert a "defensive stance."
"You want to protect your children," London told ABC.
As the women got closer, Caprario testified, she slapped London across her right ear and cheek.
London called the police, and they arrived shortly afterward.
The charges against Caprario were were first degree harassment, a felony charge, and second degree harassment, a misdemeanor.
Had she been found guilty on both charges, Caprario could have faced more than two-and-a-half years in jail.
In court papers, London described the slap as causing her "redness, swelling and substantial pain."
She also described Carpriaro's post-slap demeanor.
"She was grinning," London testified. "She was very pleased with herself."