Man Charged with Assault, Fired From Job After Video of Racist Tirade in Smoothie Shop Goes Viral
James Iannazzo of Fairfield, Connecticut was arrested over the weekend.
A viral TikTok video has resulted in a Connecticut man being fired from his job at Merrill Lynch.
48-year-old James Iannazzo entered a Robeks smoothie shop in Fairfield, CT and began screaming at employees behind the counter, even throwing a smoothie at workers at one point.
In the video, Iannazzo can be heard screaming at the employees, cursing, asking for a manager and calling the employees “ignorant high school kids” and referring to one as an “immigrant loser."
“You can call corporate whenever you want, goodbye,” one of the workers shouts back at the man before he launches the cup back behind the counter. “I’m calling the police!”
Warning: This video is very disturbing.
Following the incident, a representative for Merrill Lynch released a statement on behalf of the company.
"Our company does not tolerate behavior of this kind,” the statement read. “We immediately investigated and have taken action. This individual is no longer employed at our firm."
According to reports, Iannazzo flew into a fit of rage after a smoothie he purchased at the shop contained peanuts, which sent his 17-year-old son, who is allergic, into anaphylactic shock and caused him to be hospitalized.
“Iannazzo left the scene prior to police arrival, but was identified shortly after. Iannazzo turned himself into police without incident,” the Fairfield Police Department revealed in a statement. "Iannazzo told officers that he was upset about his son having a severe allergic reaction and went back to the store as a result. During the investigation, employees reported that Iannazzo never told them about the peanut allergy but had only requested that there be no peanut butter in his drink.”
He was charged for Intimidation Based on Bigotry or Bias in the Second Degree, Breach of Peace in the Second Degree and Criminal Trespass in the First Degree (for trying to enter an employees only area of the store.)
“I was out of my mind with fear for him when I returned to Robeks, and I wish I had not done so,” Iannazzo told CNBC. “I also wish they had been more careful preparing my son’s beverage. I will be extending my apologies personally to the Robek’s organization, particularly the staff that was working there that night.”
He also stated that his son was “doing okay” as of Monday.
“This is the worst nightmare of every parent whose child has a similar allergy,” he said.
His lawyer also released a statement on his behalf, saying that Iannazzo "wholeheartedly regrets" his behavior.
"He is not a racist individual and deeply regrets his statements and actions," attorney Frank J. Riccio II said.
Prior to his release from the company, Iannazzo had been employed by Merrill Lynch since 1995.
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