James Iannazzo, 48, was arrested on charges of intimidation based on bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass after his racist tirade at a Robeks was caught in video
A Merrill Lynch financial advisor was arrested after reportedly throwing a racist tirade at a smoothie store and threatening young staff who ‘gave his allergic son a drink containing peanuts.’
James Iannazzo, 48, was arrested on charges of intimidation based on bias, breach of peace and criminal trespass Saturday after his fit of rage at the store on 2061 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield, Connecticut, was caught in video.
The footage, posted on TikTok by user @cjjbreezy, was recorded by one of the young girls working at the store, after Iannazzo stormed inside demanding to know who was responsible for adding peanut butter to his smoothie order.
The video had more than 16 million views before it was removed on Sunday.
‘Shut the f*** up! Stupid f****** idiot. You’re a f***** idiot. I want the f***** number. Shut up,’ a disgruntled Iannazzo says, demanding to know the number of the corporate office.
‘You’re a f***** immigrant loser,’ he then says to one of the employees, prompting the rest of the staff to yell at him to leave the store.
Iannazzo had been previously told by one of the employees that they couldn’t remember who prepared the smoothie in question and that he should call the corporate office to file a complaint.
‘Get the f*** out of here, you f****** b***,’ Iannazzo says.
The enraged man eventually attempts to breach the employee-only entrance as the young workers struggle to keep the door closed.
Iannazzo left the store before police arrived but turned himself to authorities later on Saturday, police said. He was released and is scheduled for a court hearing early February.
He has since been fired from his position as wealth advisor and director at Merrill Lynch Management, where he had been working since 1995.
‘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,’ the company said in a statement after the video became viral.
The footage, which was posted on TikTok by @cjjbreezy, was recorded by one of the young girls working at the store, after Iannazzo stormed inside demanding to know who was responsible for adding peanut butter to his smoothie order
‘You’re a f***** immigrant loser,’ Iannazzo says to one of the girls, just moments after he hurled the smoothie at her, hitting her with it on the shoulder
The incident happened at the 2061 Black Rock Turnpike store in Fairfield, Connecticut
Ianazzo reportedly lost his temper after first responders treated his son for a ‘severe’ allergic reaction to the drink, but staff at the store said that while he asked for no peanut butter in the smoothie, he never mentioned an allergy.
‘F***** stupid, f****** ignorant high school kids,’ he says on camera.
‘I wanna speak to the f****** who made this drink, is that you?’ Iannazzo demands after walking inside the store.
‘There’s four of us here, so we honestly don’t know,’ an employee answers.
‘F***** stupid, f****** ignorant high school kids,’ he says. ‘I want to speak to the manager.’
‘Ok, bye. You can call corporate, whatever you want,’ another worker, wearing a blue hoodie, answers while a coworker holds her by the hoodie to stop her from going toward Iannazzo’s direction.
When she walks to the front of the store, Iannazzo throws the smoothie at her, prompting her coworkers to make calls to police.
‘You shut up. Get out…You’re not going to tell me to shut up, the f****? Who are you? Who are you?’ the girl in the blue hoodie says to Iannazzo.
‘You’re a f***** immigrant loser,’ Iannazzo then replies before staff yells at him to leave the store immediately.
Iannazzo continues cursing at them before attempting to access the employee-only section of the store to confront the girls.
Attorney Frank Riccio, who is representing Iannazzo, said his client was not racist but his ‘paternal instinct’ had kicked in
Iannazzo has since been fired from his position as wealth advisor and director at Merrill Lynch Management, where he had been working since 1995
Iannazo cursed at the young employees before hurling the smoothie at one of them. The employee was not seriously injured, police said
Iannazzo told authorities that he had returned to the store because he was upset about his son having a severe allergic reaction to the peanut butter in the smoothie.
He had bought the smoothie around 1pm on Saturday and left without incident, Fairfield Police said.
At around 1.40pm, Iannazzo called 911 requesting an EMS response to his home for his son, who was later taken to a hospital.
Iannazzo then returned to Robeks and confronted employees, yelling at them and demanding to know who had made the smoothie which contained peanuts.
The employee who was hit on the shoulder by the smoothie that Iannazzo hurled at her was not seriously injured, police said.
She said in a video update to the incident that Iannazzo hadn’t been charged with assault because nobody had been hurt, but that she would be pressing charges.
Attorney Frank Riccio, who is representing Iannazzo, said his client was not racist but his ‘paternal instinct’ had kicked in.
A statement from Riccio on Twitter said: ‘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. Iannazzo’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.’
According to his LinkedIn profile and public records, Iannazzo is married and lives with his wife and three children in a $1.3 million home in the Southport section of Fairfield.
The enraged man eventually attempted to breach the employee-only entrance as the young workers struggled to keep the door closed
In 2021, Iannazo was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes, Blaze media reported
‘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,’ a statement by police said.
‘Iannazzo left the scene prior to police arrival, but was identified shortly after. Iannazzo turned himself into police without incident,’ it added.
During his more than two-decade career at Merrill Lynch, Iannazzo had become well-known as one of the top financial advisors in the area.
In 2021, he was ranked the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut by Forbes, Blaze media reported.
Iannazzo was charged with one felony and two misdemeanors and was released pending his court appearance.
If convicted for those charges, he could face a sentence of up to six years in prison and $6,000 in fines.
Iannazzo is scheduled to appear in court on February 7 at Bridgeport Superior Court.