Legal

After Assault Footage Goes Viral, Perpetrator Sues Google for $200 Million

Former Staff Writer
2 min read

If moments of crisis are said to provoke a fight or flight response, Antonio Ynoa chose a little bit of both.

After drunkenly assaulting a JetBlue airline attendant en route to JFK from the Dominican Republic back in 2011, the 24-year-old served three months in jail.

And the incident -- in which Ynoa poked, punched and then attempted to head-butt a steward who asked him to stop drinking -- was caught on film by a fellow passenger, who subsequently posted the footage online.

Now, in an audacious twist, Ynoa is lashing out again.

Related: French Courts Force Google to Air Indiscretion on Homepage

In a lawsuit certain to rouse some laughter and eye rolls -- while also raising questions about privacy and ownership in today's snap-happy mobile landscape -- Ynoa is suing a trio of tech giants on claims of cyberbullying.

Ynoa will act as his own lawyer in the suit against Google, YouTube and Dailymotion, in which he’s demanding a cool $200.5 million in damages.

Of note is that videotaping strangers is legal in public spaces, and copyright law currently states that photography -- unless otherwise specified -- is the sole property of its creator.

Related: Would You Let Your Employees Drink on the Job?

Furthermore, Ynoa’s very public beatdown begs the question of whether perpetrators of illegal acts should be entitled to any privacy at all.

Even though it was removed a year ago, the negative attention from the video resulted in notoriety, Ynoa claims, as well as harassment from strangers, one attempted robbery and even the loss of his front tooth.

As outlandish as the suit may sound, Ynoa is no stranger to lucrative legal maneuverings. In 2009, he received a $900,000 settlement from New York City after his motor scooter collided with a NYPD radio car.

Related: A Site to Fight Cyber Bullying Gets Funding

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