James Iannazzo: Connecticut man, 48, FIRED for throwing smoothie at Robeks staff after racist tirade
A viral video shows Iannazzo calling the workers 'immigrants losers' and being abusive towards them
James Iannazzo, a wealth management advisor and managing director at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, purchased a smoothie from the franchise chain and returned thirty minutes later in a rage. He claimed that his kid had an allergic reaction to the peanuts in the drink. A viral video shows the 48-year-old yelling at the employees and wanting to know which of the workers had made the drink.
In the video, Iannazzo can be seen shouting at the employees and yelling racist comments. He is heard calling the employees "immigrant losers" and being abusive towards them. Post the racist rant, he threw the smoothie at a worker who asked him to leave. He then went on to trespass by entering an "employees only" area. He was arrested and charged with "intimidation based on bigotry or bias in the second degree," "breach of peace in the second degree," and "criminal trespass in the first degree".
The video, posted on TikTok by user @cjjbreezy, was recorded by one of the young girls working at the store. Iannazzo can be seen yelling at the female employees and calling them "f**king immigrant losers" continuously. He then throws the smoothie at an employee and proceeds to enter an "employees only" area where the female workers were present.
Fairfield Police Department's statement read, "On 01/22/2022 at approximately 2:26 PM, the Fairfield Police Department received numerous calls from employees at Robeks, located at 2061 Black Rock Turnpike, reporting a customer was throwing things, yelling at employees, and refusing to leave. An investigation revealed that at approximately 1:05 PM, James Iannazzo (DOB 05/15/1973) of Fairfield, made a purchase at Robeks and left the store without incident. At approximately 1:39 PM, Iannazzo called 911 requesting an EMS response to his home for a juvenile suffering from an allergic reaction and was later transported to an area hospital. A short time later, Iannazzo returned to Robeks and confronted employees, yelling at them and demanding to know who had made the smoothie which contained peanuts, causing his child’s allergic reaction. When employees could not provide Iannazzo with the answer he became irate, yelling at the employees using a number of expletives. He then threw a drink at an employee, which hit their right shoulder. The employee reported that they had no complaints of pain or injury. Iannazzo also made comments toward an employee referencing their immigration status. Iannazzo was told to leave multiple times by the employees but remained inside and continued to yell insults at the employees. Iannazzo then attempted to open a locked door that led to an “Employees Only” area where the employees were, behind the counter. Iannazzo left the scene prior to police arrival, but was identified shortly after. Iannazzo turned himself into police without incident. Iannazzo told Officers that he was upset about his son having a severe allergic reaction and he 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. James Iannazzo (DOB 05/15/1973) was arrested and charged with C.G.S 53a-181ka; Intimidation Based on Bigotry or Bias in the Second Degree, C.G.S 53a-181; Breach of Peace in the Second Degree and C.G.S 53a-107 Criminal Trespass in the First Degree. He was issued a court appearance date of 2/7/2022 at Bridgeport Superior Court."
The statement from James Iannazzo's attorney read, "Mr. Iannazzo wholeheartedly regrets the incident that took place at the Fairfield Robeks on January 22, 2022. Mr. lannazzo placed an order at the Robeks and stressed to the staff that the product must not contain peanuts. His receipt acknowledged that the order should not contain peanut butter. His son has a life-threatening peanut allergy. Upon drinking the Robeks smoothie, his son had a severe allergic reaction which required transport via ambulance to the hospital. When faced with a dire situation for his son, Mr. lannazzo's parental instinct kicked in and he acted out of anger and fear. He is not a racist individual and deeply regrets his statements and actions during a moment of extreme emotional stress."
Statement regarding James Iannazzo: pic.twitter.com/VvOKkD96FM— Frank J. Riccio II (@RiccioLaw) January 23, 2022
Iannazzo faced a lot of backlash on social media once the video went viral. Merril Lynch, the wealth management company he worked for, fired him, stating, "Our company does not tolerate behavior of this kind. We immediately investigated and have taken action. This individual is no longer employed at our firm."