James Iannazzo Merrill Lynch wealth manager arrested after throwing drink at Robeks smoothie worker in Fairfield Connecticut in racist tirade. Incident leads to top ranking wealth manager being fired from investment firm employer.
A Connecticut man has been arrested after being captured on video surveillance going on a racist tirade at a smoothie shop. The outburst included the man, since identified as a top wealth manager at Merrill Lynch throwing a drink at one of the store employees at a Fairfield location.
James Iannazzo, 48, of Fairfield, reportedly went to the Robeks smoothie store in Fairfield on Friday afternoon. Approximately 30 minutes after leaving the food establishment, he called 911 to request emergency medical services for his son, who was suffering from an allergic reaction after the drink including peanuts. The child was transported to a local hospital, according to authorities.
Iannazzo returned to the Robeks location roughly an hour after his original visit that afternoon. A visibly agitated Iannazzo is seen on video (see below) verbally abusing the four teen workers at the store. Iannazzo demands to know who made his smoothie from over an hour ago, but the employees are not sure who made that specific smoothie.
Iannazzo then proceeds to lash out at the teen workers using profane laden language, ‘F***ing, stupid f***ing ignorant high school kids.’
After being asked to leave by one of the employees, Iannazzo retorts, ‘I want to speak to the f***ing manager.’
— Danesh (@thatdaneshguy) January 23, 2022
‘Get the f*** out of here, you f***ing b****!’
An employee advises the disgruntled customer to contact the corporate office to file a complaint, to which Iannazzo says, ‘Get the f*** out of here, you f***ing b****!’
As the teen girls turn their heads away from Iannazzo, he hurls a drink at the employees, hitting one girl in the shoulder.
Iannazzo proceeds to unleashe a string of profanities against the girl he hit with the drink.
The irate man asks for a phone number for the corporate office, but the employee repeatedly tells him to leave the establishment.
Iannazzo yells back, ‘Shut the f*** up! Stupid f***ing idiot. You’re a f***ing idiot. I want the f***ing number. Shut up.’
Iannazzo then says, ‘You’re f***ing immigrant loser.’
But there was more to come.
Bigotry and intimidation
Iannazzo attempts to then access the ’employees only’ area, with one of the girls seen pushing back as the banker is unable to open the door.
The video which was originally posted by one of the coworkers on TikTok under the handle @cjjbreezy was viewed more than 16 million times before it was removed on Sunday.
According to Heavy, the video had been uploaded with the caption: ‘There was one girl, she was 16. Literally, it was like her second day. She was in the back, already called the police.’
Iannazzo left the scene before police arrived, but later turned himself in to authorities without incident.
Iannazzo was arrested and charged with second-degree intimidation based on bigotry or bias, second-degree breach of peace, and first-degree criminal trespass.
‘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,’ according to the Fairfield Police Department.
No longer tolerated
‘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,’ cops said.
Iannazzo was issued a court appearance date of Feb. 7, 2022.
The episode led to outrage on social media, with many commentators demanding that Iannazzo who they identified working as a wealth management advisor and managing director at ivy league investment firm, Merrill Lynch be fired from his job. They soon got their wish.
Merrill Lynch issued a statement regarding the incident, according to WVIT.
‘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.
Forbes ranked Iannazzo who had been with Merrill Lynch since 1995 as the 24th best wealth advisor in Connecticut in 2021.
Barron’s named him the 32nd best in its list of “America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors” for 2019.
Iannazzo’s lawyer, Frank Riccio II, has since issued a statement, stating that, ‘Mr. Iannazzo wholeheartedly regrets the incident.’