back to article Texter who fell in fountain threatens to sue

The woman who became an overnight YouTube sensation says she may sue the shopping mall where she was videotaped falling into a fountain while texting. Cathy Cruz Marrero said in an article on that she's “mortified” by the incident, which appears to have been captured on video by security team at the Berkshire …


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  1. Andrew Tyler 1


    Ah, so the unindentifiable blob's name is Cathy Cruz Marrero. Cathy Cruz Marrero ought to be terribly, terribly ashamed of herself. Mortified, even. If Cathy Cruz Marrero is so shy, she should have kept Cathy Cruz Marrero's identify a secret. If Cathy Cruz Marrero is just looking for a buck, Cathy Cruz Marrero is pretty foolish to do interviews for the news-media. Cathy Cruz Marrero's judge is going to say something or other about Barbara Streisand, and throw Cathy Cruz Marrero's case out of court.

    1. Graham Marsden

      I'm glad...

      ... you mentioned Streisand along with all your mentions of Cathy Cruz Marrero...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Cameras and exploitation

      We're always fed this line about cameras and CCTV being for our protection/well-being, but I think this amply demonstrates how it always ends up becoming exploitive. Cameras that watch everything we do will also pick up all our human frailties, errors, and misjudgements, and put them on display for the world to criticise or condemn.

      Councils here are using them to fine everyone that appears in the camera irrespective of the circumstances. Who cares if you were in the bus lane momentarily because you had to make a left turn into your own driveway or a carpark? You car is in the picture in the bus lane, so pay up!

      Of course Cathy should have been more attentive to here surroundings, even she knows that. But we all do similar things from time to time. When I see it happen to others, I don't stop to think about who's at fault - I would check if they were OK or needed assistance. I would like to think others would do the same for me.

      But for someone to see the event, record it, publish for the world to laugh at, and render no assistance... I think that's inhumane. I support Cathy's complaint, and having here identity splashed all over the media is just an unfortunate side-affect of taking a stand on something.

      1. NogginTheNog

        Yeah but..

        I kind of agree with you, but I'm not sure she's actually "taking a stand" on this? I think it's a lot more likely she's mortified that her genuine mistake (yeah we've all done them!) has made her infamous, and is trying to save face by lashing out at (sueing) the only thing she can: the mall operators.

        1. aelfheld

          You do realise

          that she self-identified to the media, right?

          No one had a clue as to who she was until she decided to contact the media.

          If she's so 'mortified' by her 'idiocy' why did she put herself out there?

      2. Shakje

        @Ralph 5

        1) Let's ask a simple question here, if you saw someone falling into a fountain because they were texting, what would be your very first response? Would you immediately run over to help them, scared that they might have broken a hip, or would you actually just laugh a bit first. Let's imagine that they're not even texting, let's say that they were pissed, staggering everywhere, and fell into the fountain. The first response of most people would be to laugh. This is why You've Been Framed is still on our televisions, because there is something inherently funny about people ending up covered in water because of an accident. The issue is whether they should have posted it, but your third paragraph seems to suggest that you think there's no humour in the situation at all.

        2) If you watch the clip with sound, you clearly hear someone saying "and this was at 4 this afternoon?" It's not something that's just happened, it's the camera recording system. They're not playing it back, recording it and laughing at it while she's down there, drenched. Who knows why it took 20 minutes to help her? Maybe because they thought she'd get adequate help from the store? Or maybe they didn't even see it? Maybe they got told about it by the store staff afterwards and reviewed the tapes, I mean, how many cameras does an average American mall actually have?

        I actually understand exactly why you support her action as well, because I think there has to be lines in the sand based on privacy and CCTV usage, and someone has to do something about it from time to time. Unfortunately she comes across as someone who just can't laugh at herself, and it's so trivial when compared to really bad breaches of privacy that occur and aren't flagged, I just think there could be less time spent on this and more on the serious matters.

      3. Wize

        They may have been too late to help when they saw her fall

        "But for someone to see the event, record it, publish for the world to laugh at, and render no assistance... "

        From what I could tell, they were watching a recording of the event on their monitor. They may not have even noticed she fell in till the cleaner complained someone had taken a dip in the fountain and was dripping everywhere, then they looked back for the event.

    3. Tom 13

      That was my reaction when they gave the teaser on the news last night.

      When I heard that it was someone from the Mall Security team that assembled and posted the video I groaned.

      That's an open and shut case of abuse even for someone like me who is tired of tossers gaming the courts. The Mall can try to negotiate the price, but they will pay up. And at least one person from the Mall Security Team is going to be on disciplinary notice (or worse) for the next 6 months.

  2. Rab Sssss


    she was probably unknown. Now everybody knows who she is.

    Nice own goal.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    She must be with Orange.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What a jury should give her..

    If she sues, the jury should award her an all-expenses-paid lobotomy.

    1. Otto von Humpenstumpf

      no title here.

      That's probably the *only* thing she's not in need of...

    2. David Kelly 2

      Thats the problem!

      Am afraid thats the problem, she already has the lobotomy.

  5. Fluffykins Silver badge

    I'd have thought this was proof

    She's already had one.

  6. moiety

    She's even more famous now...

  7. T J

    It will take care of itself

    Don't worry she will fall down a manhole on the way to court.

  8. Jeremy 2

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "Instead of laughing, they should have said, 'Is she OK?' and been down there right away to check on me."

    Yeah, and, you know, instead of not looking where you were going, you should have, you know, looked where you were going.

    Walking into something while not concentrating: Silly but normal.

    Appearing on national television: Dumb.

    Reinforcing the stereotype of litigation-happy Americans threatening to sue for something that's entirely her own stupid fault: Priceless.

    ^^^^ Stop icon because, well she should have...

    1. The Indomitable Gall


      Put it this way.

      The mall has security cameras ostensibly to protect its shoppers. The mall has not asked consent for security footage to be used for entertainment purposes. The mall's security company has therefore violated their agreement, and they have to be held to account.

      If behaviour like this goes unchecked, security cameras become a routine invasion of privacy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        What privacy? She was in a public place. Or, assuming the mall is privately owned, somebody else's private space.

        Do you expect privacy in the street, or on the Underground? I don't mean "are you entitled to it", do you /expect/ it?

        Also, while I think this was a case of an individual leaking the footage, not the mall, I imagine they have some nice signs up about CCTV and use of footage.

        1. Tom 13

          @AC: Privacy

          If it was a bypasser getting it on a cell cam YES. Because it is from a Mall Security tape, NO. At least, not without her consent. I suspect if the guards had talked to her and put it up for America's Funniest Home Videos with a promise to split the prize if it won, everything would be kosher.

      2. Alan 36
        Black Helicopters

        Put it another way

        In reply to The Indomitable Gall: The mall has security cameras to protect _itself_. To help with emergencies, deter larceny and prevent spurious lawsuits. The cameras are not there for the shoppers.

        Security footage taken on private property doesn't need consent (release) if the people are not identifiable. There is no 'agreement' as to the use of such footage, if you enter the property, there are signs stating you waive your right to not be filmed.

        Finally, 'invasion of privacy' in the US is still waaaay behind the UK, the country with the most CCTV on earth.

      3. Barrie Shepherd
        Thumb Down

        "Security & Privacy"

        What prey is private about walking round a shopping mall open to the public ?

      4. Jeremy 2

        @Indomitable Gall, yesyesyesyes...

        You're probably right that the mall cops in the camera office shouldn't have leaked it to Youtube. America being what it is, I'm sure they probably started looking for new jobs pretty much as soon as it went viral, which is punishment enough.


        - It's her fault she wasn't looking where she was going (not in dispute, I suspect)

        - She cannot have an expectation of privacy in a publicly accessible space.

        - The security employees didn't violate her privacy because they didn't ID her in any way.

        - An employee (admittedly a rather bemused looking employee but who wouldn't be) *did* ask if she was OK, if you watch the video through.

        - It's her fault alone that the whole world now knows who she is and where she's from because she couldn't resist claiming her fifteen minutes of fame.

        - It's her fault alone that the whole world now knows that she's possibly going to be a convicted felon quite soon because she didn't stop to think that the press would dig into her private life.

        Every angle she could possibly think of suing over is undermined by the fact that she brought it upon herself.

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      I assume you never done anything really stupid in a public place?!

      Yes she is a right div for not looking where she is going, but her complaint is about the misuse of CCTV footage.

      If this had been someone else's mobile footage, I'd say 'Tough titty madam!', but the security personal abused their position of trust to send out a bit of private security footage for a laugh.

      Imagine you got mugged in the same place, I bet you'd have to fight for weeks to get the footage for your court case against the person who did it. Some dopey woman falls in a fountain, by accident and next thing the footage is all over the world.

  9. Nathan Meyer

    Cathy Promises She Won't text While Walking

    She'll only do text when driving, I'm sure.

  10. borkbork

    Hopefully it's a lesson to other text-walkers...

    ...TO WATCH WHERE YOU'RE F*&^ING GOING! It's hilarious that it was a fountain this time, rather than a pensioner/toddler/other innocent bystander that the texting zombie walked into.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      Push 'em down!

      I love the planks who emerge from the Undergound stations in London, and as soon as there is a mobile signal, just stop dead in their tracks and start texting and checking mails!!!


      1. Graham Marsden

        @Push 'em down!

        I don't know if it still happens, but a while back there was a spate of thefts from idiots who would immediately stop outside the Underground station to check their phone and the thieves would be waiting to simply grab and run...!

  11. Steve Evans


    Cathy Cruz Marrero should accept that she was stupid. Cathy Cruz Marrero should have kept quiet and just got on with her life, safe in the knowledge that nobody could have identified the fuzzy blob as Cathy Cruz Marrero, but now she has come forward, trying to pass the blame when she should have kept her head down and stayed quiet.

    So Cathy Cruz Marrero, when you start claiming your life has been ruined etc etc, just remember who identified the blob as Cathy Cruz Marrero... Yes, that'll be you Cathy Cruz Marrero.


    How long before American mobiles have warnings of "Must be be used when walking" next to the "not for internal consumption" one?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I don't...

    ...see anything that suggests she is considering sueing to suppress the video. Appears to me she is more concerned at the attitude of Mall employees and quite rightly so IMO.

  13. niya blake

    She needs the money

    She is on trial for 5 counts of credit card fraud(she used a co workers credit card) , reciving stolen property. This also make her less sympathetic to a jurry.

    1. It wasnt me
      Thumb Down

      Grow up.

      ODFO. Shes quite clearly completely fine as she gets up and walks away. Nothing mopre than hurt pride and that is entirely self inflicted.


    2. Tom 13

      While I agree with the sentiment that she probably would have been better off

      keeping her head down, it is not entirely true that no one would know who it was that was on the video. The video identified the mall and it is entirely possible that other employees from the mall would know the video was her because of other things they heard through the grape vine.

      But as I've already posted, for as much as I hate slip and fall lawsuits, if I were on the jury hearing her case, I'd have to give her the award, and not a pittance.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    You left out the best part of the story

    "In the hours that followed Cathy Cruz Marrero's appearance on "Good Morning America" today to talk about the fall and its aftermath, she was in court for a status hearing on charges of five felony counts, including theft by deception and receiving stolen property. "


  15. Arctic fox

    Whilst I do not sympathise with the lady's little........

    ......."accident" I am not very impressed with the video being uploaded in the first place to the net by the goons that that mall employs. Would we be ignoring _their_ behaviour if it was film of a violent sexual assault? Next time employees of a firm where you are a customer upload security videos to the net for a laugh at your expense I hope _you_find it funny. The difference is that she is a plank - they are nasty arseholes who think the concept "breach of confidence" is for pussies.

  16. Winkypop Silver badge






    1. Ian Yates

      no title

      I'm not condoning their actions, but if she hadn't spoken out, we wouldn't know that it was Cathy Cruz Marrero who walked in to a fountain and her name wouldn't be a point of ridicule.

      She's had her minute of fame, she'll probably never be heard from again.

      1. Arctic fox

        @Ian Yates. There is a problem with this.

        I have very little sympathy for the woman concerned, however there is another issue here that many posters appear to be uninterested in. Any time there is an article here at El Reg about CCTV and the culture of surveillance in our society we get a shit-load of postings bemoaning (quite rightly IMO) this development. One of the points always made (entirely legitimately) is of course "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" - "who watches the watchmen?", to make sure that they do not abuse their position. What is very clear from this thread is that many of these "lovers of liberty" suddenly to not give a shit when the victim is an "acceptable victim" from their point of view. Their commitment to libertarianism goes straight out the window the moment they do not like the "victim". The conduct of these goons at that mall in utterly abusing their position ought to give us all pause for thought.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Arctic fox

          As a "lover of liberty", I believe in the liberty to make oneself an acceptable victim - but acting in a way that demands ridicule.

    2. The Fuzzy Wotnot

      So? What's your point?

      So she's up for other felonies, this is a different case which is tried by different court and court officials.

      When the jury on the 'tripping case' find out she's on credit card fraud charges too, they may not be very sympathetic I'll grant you, but everyone is entitled to fair trial for each crime they are involved in, whichever side of the dock they are on.

    3. Ben 42

      Sexual assault? Really?

      How did you manage to bring that into this discussion? No crime was committed in that video, it was just someone doing something stupid. Sure, if they were sitting there laughing while someone was assaulted on camera I would consider that outrageous behavior, but that's not remotely similar to what happened here. The question here isn't whether they were right to laugh at the video, the question is whether they were right to post it online since it's clear that this was all happening well after the fact, and there's nothing they could have done to help her at that point anyway.

      And for what it's worth, if it had been me falling into the fountain, I'd have had a good chuckle about it, done a few talk show spots and laughed all the way to the bank with my appearance fees.* But then there's probably not as much money in that as there is in suing. Maybe a book deal though...

      *Not that I have _ever_ done anything stupid in front of an attractive woman...nope, not me. ;-)

  17. Beanie Wabster
    Thumb Up

    Beanie Wabster

    Most excellent comments .....

  18. Mat Child


    Before today I've never seen this. I have now obviously. What an excellent way to ensure it's even more popular.

    As for the assertion that she should have been checked on - According to the sound track "Pedro from Housekeeping" had asked her if she was alright within minutes of the incident. If true and she was in need of assistance she had her chance right there but passed it off.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck ups you can never live down

    Because for the next 243 years she's going to be starring in early-hours repeats of ITV premium adult line ad-vehicles like "Funny CCTV moments that cost people their dignity but cost us nothing to buy in - season 14".

    1. Peter Simpson 1
      Paris Hilton

      Pedro's on the video

      He must be the guy with the mop & bucket who stops as he's headed toward the fountain totalk with her. Someone else stops to talk with her as well. Pedro's clearly visible in the cell-phone recording of the playback.

      Cathy needs to learn to take some personal responsibility, instead of driving off after an accident, using someone else's credit cards and trying to get someone else to pay her for a dunking that was so obviously due to her own inattention. Allegedly, of course, because she hasn't been convicted of stupidity...yet.

  20. RobE
    Thumb Up

    This would be a Good Advert

    This would be an excellent advert for motorists not to use their mobile phone whilst driving.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    I can save her a bunch of money, time and effort

    All her lawyer is going to find out is that security were too busy mopping up puddles of piss from the control room floor..

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Foolish, but ..

    ... she does have a case in that they should not have posted the video on YouTube : that was a serious failing on the part of Mall Security, and someone should be taken to task for it.

  23. Arbuthnot Darjeeling
    Thumb Up

    I was going to post

    a comment on this greedy idiot woman but previous commentards have covered it beautifully.

  24. Tech Hippy


    "Instead of laughing, they should have said, 'Is she OK?' and been down there right away to check on me."

    Erm weren't they watching her on CCTV?...


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