A Connecticut man in a rage over the unintentional use of peanuts in a smoothie went on a threatening, racist tirade against a store’s young employees, leading to his arrest, Fairfield police said.
James Iannazzo, 48, of Fairfield, faces charges of intimidation, breach of the peace and criminal misconduct.
According to police, Iannazzo bought a smoothie at Robeks at the Black Rock Turnpike around 1pm on Saturday. About 30 minutes later, police say he called 911 from his home for a child who had an allergic reaction. The child was transported to a local hospital.
A few minutes later, Iannazzo returned to Robeks’ place and, according to police, yelled at employees and demanded to know who had caused his child to have an allergic reaction by putting peanuts in the smoothie.
When employees could not answer, police say Iannazzo got angry, shouted vulgarly, threw a drink at an employee and asked questions about her immigration status. Police say he was asked to leave and refused, and even tried to open a locked “Employees Only”[ads1]; door to get behind the store counter.
He then left before the police arrived, but was identified and reported, saying he was upset about his son’s allergic reaction. Store employees told police that Iannazzo never mentioned an allergy, but only asked that the peanut butter be omitted from a drink.
An alleged video of the dispute was posted on TikTok and quickly gained more than 2 million views. In the video, Iannazzo can clearly be heard screaming epithet against the employees and demanding that they stop filming him.
Merrill Lynch, where Iannazzo worked as a financial adviser, said on Sunday that they acted quickly after learning of the incident.
“Our company does not tolerate this type of behavior. We investigated immediately and have taken action. This person is no longer employed by our company,” the company said in a statement.
Forbes ranked Iannazzo as one of Connecticut’s top 25 advisors with high net worth last year.