Thursday, January 20, 2011

Security Guard Fired for Posting Woman Falls in Fountain Video to YouTube after Texter Gets Lawyer

UPDATE: Fox News reports that Marrero has a criminal record and some speculate that she may have staged her fall to get money. The speculation is understandable, but nevertheless posits a less probable scenario unless Marrero's detractors are saying the security guard was also involved with the staging. If the security guard had not caught the fall on tape, laughed and put it on YouTube, and the whole world did not sit back and laugh or ridicule her, then what proof would Marrero have that she suffered emotional insult?

Also, it's pretty hard to predict which YouTube video will go viral. If the guard knows how to do that, then that's where his fortune lies.

She got up and walked away physically unharmed, she admits, and it was her fault that she fell (not paying attention while texting and walking). She seems to know she should not have been walking and texting and be only angry that the guard laughed and posted the video rather than doing his job to make sure that she was unharmed?

So, who can she sue other than than the security company for which the guard worked? They've already fired the guy, who was clearly being irresponsible and an idiot on the job, but is that the company's fault? So, where are the grounds for a lawsuit? A staged fall with a lawsuit over the YouTube posting only works if the security guard was in on the staging, too, right?

Some attorney's said the fountain should have a railing. I say, "No. Marrero should watch where she's going."

As for her having a criminal record for other pending charges against her for theft, while that doesn't sound good, it has nothing to do with the what the security guard did (unless, of course, he was in on it).



The woman who was walking while texting through a mall and then fell into a fountain told her local news station that texting while walking is dangerous. She could have walked into a bus, she said. However, she's also armed herself with a lawyer.

Cathy A. Cruz Marrero said that she's been humiliated by the video a mall security guard posted of the mishap to YouTube where it went viral. It's nearing two million hits as I write this post. And that security guard has been fired, relays ReadingEagle. The Atlanta-based company that has the Pennsylvania contract has issued the following statement:
"U.S. Security Associates provides security for Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, where a woman recently fell into a small fountain while texting on her cell phone. The security officer responsible for sharing the video of this incident has been terminated and is no longer with company. U.S. Security Associates does not condone this type of behavior and will work closely with the property owners to ensure processes are put in place to prevent it from happening in the future."
WFMZ TV reported the story first and has more details:
The woman who is seen in the video falling into the fountain at the mall came forward Wednesday (January 19) to share her story with 69 News. ... In her first TV interview, Cathy Cruz Marrero said she was disappointed that the guard laughed at her fall when seeing the video rather than coming to her aid.
Marrero, who works at the mall, called the guard's actions "unprofessional." He didn't even send anyone to see how she was, she said. She wanted to ball up in bed and cry for days, but the next day she was able to laugh at herself. Still, she does not excuse the security guard laughing about it and posting the video. Even her relatives in Puerto Rico found out about it, she told the TV station.

Here is the security video that went viral below.



ABC's American This Morning anchors also talked about this story, but they didn't laugh as much as the CBS crew. One of its anchors said there's a program Marrero could have used to see where she was going while she was texting.



For me this whole incident gets us back to the issue of privacy in the digital age. As I wrote in my post about concerns over Spokeo.com's invasions of privacy, privacy is a relatively new concept in American culture and we may be returning to an era of having no expectations of privacy. Today, we should always assume in public that someone may be watching us and possibly filming as well.

But that security guard was wrong, and I'm not surprised he's lost his job. It's footage he only had access to due to his job, and so, it was not his to share. He should have performed his guard duties instead of laughing about it, even if it is amusing once you discover she wasn't physically injured (it's almost unbelievable), and then there is the common decency aspect: he didn't think about how the woman felt and what exposing her mishap to the world could do to her.

7 comments:

Naomi Johnson said...

The guard was wrong, no question. But i'm wondering, did anyone know her identity until she went public? I'm just wondering if she's doing as much to guard her privacy as she might?

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Naomi, I wondered the same thing when I first watched her interview and then I decided for her it's really more she's embarrassed because she works at the mall and so her co-workers knew that was her.

She probably doesn't care what strangers think, but her family and friends found out and she was humiliated.

Her bigger complaint is that the security guard did something he should not have done and didn't do his job and come to her aid. I'm pretty sure the security company sees that as a liability issue.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This woman is stupid. I applaud the fountain for getting in her way. People who text and drive, text and walk, etc. deserve things like this to happen to them.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

LOL. Anonymous, that's funny, applauding the fountain. :-)

She knows what she did was pretty stupid, I think. She can't blame the fountain, especially since she works in the mall and knew it was there.

Texting and walking and texting and driving? You're right. That's not wise at all.

Anonymous said...

Now with all the information the story makes sense. She worked at the mall and probably knew the guard....and she has a criminal history...and strangers did not know her name...only her coworkers and family...she was looking for a lawsuit....whether it was an unintentional fall or not she will have a difficult time winning the case.

Vérité Parlant is Nordette Adams said...

Yes, Anonymous, I don't think she can win it. Her attorneys may also argue that there was no railing around the fountain, but I still don't see how she could win because the bottom line is she should have been watching where she was going.

She must be pretty stupid though if she planned it and came forward. Once you come forward then anybody who learned her name could look into her background, which would only result in more humiliation.

Even if she did not plan anything, it was idiotic of her to come forward knowing she has a criminal record and that would probably come out.

N.

msladydeborah said...

I have to respond to the statement, "I feel like people are laughing at me." Of course she does. I fell out laughing the first time I saw the incident. I'm glad that she wasn't injured but that scene is funny. If America's Funniest Home Videos had received the clip, it would of been a top contender for a prize.

I am curious to see if any new law comes from out of this case. That is going to be far more interesting than her whine about the video being posted. Anyone could of caught that moment on their phone and posted it.

Who owns the video is one issue that I think can be ruled on. The other issue is the expectation of privacy in a society that now has the capacity to capture moments via technology. We only need to look at sites like The People of Wal Mart, to see how many people are actually exposed by others for their looks or actions. Can Wally World be sued because someone finds your attire or act of the moment hiliarious? I don't know.

I think that the guard should of made some sort of attempt to assist her. I'm sure he was probably laughing too hard to do so with a straight face.